Saturday, January 1, 2011
Thaddeus Pope -- ya'll know I'm a fan -- has a new article in the St. Louis Journal of Health Law and Policy addressing the selection of health care proxies, or surrogates, as a means of preventing futile care disputes. When parties surrounding a dying patient disagree about what medical treatments to pursue, if any, law suits can ensue. Pope examines the use of surrogates to reduce the chance of these conflicts, citing both benefits and detriments, and gives us a summary of state laws.
William Colby, the lawyer for Nancy Cruzan's family, writes in Unplugged that the definition of death has changed so drastically in such a short span of time that laws, hospital best practices, and the public, forced to reckon with these changes, have not been able to keep up. Pope's work is always a reminder that the issues surrounding patients' rights and futile care are not straight-forward or simple and that they are constantly evolving.
You can read the full article here
You can read the abstract at Pope's site, Medical Futility Blog