Sunday, June 26, 2011

Good, Good Links.

*Ethan Remmel, a terminal cancer patient, kept a blog at Psychology today. On June 12 he died using Washington State's Death with Dignity law. You can read his posts here. You can read about him here. (h/t janek)

*I know Candy Chang because we spent time together at a Global Studio in Johannesburg, South Africa. My spouse at the time was presenting at the workshop; Candy was an architecture student with more spunk and creativity and productivity than you can imagine. Here's a link to her project in New Orleans that fits this site's MO perfectly. Before I Die. You can read more about Candy here.

*Thaddeus Pope points us to a new article at The Journal of Clinical Ethics on the use of the Best Interest Standard (BIS) (Pay to read article). Pope writes:

In this issue of JCE, Douglas Diekema argues that the best interest standard (BIS) has been misemployed to serve two materially different functions. On the one hand, clinicians and parents use the BIS to recommend and to make treatment decisions on behalf of children. On the other hand, clinicians and state authorities use the BIS to determine when the government should interfere with parental decision-making authority. Diekema concedes that the BIS is appropriately used to “guide” parents in making medical treatment decisions for their children. But he argues that the BIS is inappropriately used as a “limiting” standard to determine when to override those decisions. Specifically, Diekema contends that the BIS “does not represent the best means for determining when one must turn to the state to limit parental action.” He argues that this limiting function should be served by the harm principle instead of by the BIS.

*Pope also notes a new article he's co-authored which appears in the current Widener Law Review. It addresses the legal practice of voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED). From his blog (October):

Patients with decision-making capacity may choose (through contemporaneous instructions) to voluntarily stop oral eating and drinking to accelerate the dying process. Moreover, patients without capacity often have the same option. Voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) is a clinically validated “exit option” that enables a good quality death. Significant and growing evidence supports VSED as a means of accelerating the dying process. Nevertheless, VSED is widely resisted by healthcare practitioners either because they think that it is illegal or because they are uncertain of its legality.

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