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07/11/2019 - 8:41am

Written by Rebecca Brown There has been recent concern over CRUK’s (Cancer Research UK) latest campaign, which features the claim ‘obesity is a cause of cancer too’ made to look like cigarette packets. It follows criticism of a previous, related campaign which also publicised links between obesity and cancer. Presumably, CRUK’s aim is to increase […]

07/11/2019 - 8:17am

Millions of Americans rely on the likes of birth control, IVF, and genetic testing to make plans as intimate and far-reaching as any they ever make. This is no less than the medicine of miracles. It fills empty cradles, frees families from terrible disease, and empowers them to fashion their lives on their own terms. But every year, thousands of accidents happen: Pharmacists mix up pills. Lab techs misread tests. Obstetricians tell women their healthy fetuses would be stillborn. These mistakes can’t be chalked up to reasonable slips of hand or lapses in judgment as often as human failures and flawed quality controls.

But political and economic forces conspire against meaningful regulation. And however egregious the offense, no statute or doctrine says that these injuries matter, legally speaking. The American legal system treats reproductive negligence less like mischief than misfortune. Some courts insist that thwarted plans are too easy to contrive and too hard to verify. Others wonder why victims didn’t just turn to abortion or adoption instead. Most are unwilling to risk characterizing any child’s birth as a legal injury. So judges throw up their hands when professional misconduct leaves patients with no baby, when they undertook reliable efforts to have one; any baby, when they set out to avoid pregnancy and parenthood; or a baby with different genetic traits than the health, sex, race, or resemblance they’d carefully selected.

This isn’t the first time that technological advances have outpaced the slow churn of the legislative process and existing tools of the common law. It was exactly one century ago, the legal scholar Roscoe Pound, then dean of Harvard Law School, published the new edition of his treatise, On the Law of Torts. What made the textbook remarkable was its inclusion of a prescient chapter that set forth an emerging right for the “Interference with Privacy.” That right is well-established today. But American law wasn’t much concerned with the exposure of secrets until advances in picture-taking made natural bedfellows with professional muckraking.

 

This post originally appeared on OUPblog. Read the rest of it there.

The post How Technology is Changing Reproduction and the Law appeared first on Bill of Health.

07/11/2019 - 4:18am

The 10th International Shared Decision Making Conference (ISDM 2019) was both productive and pleasurable. The good questions made me reflect, revise, and clarify my arguments.

Check this page for news of ISDM 2021. I will be building more co...

07/11/2019 - 4:18am

The 10th International Shared Decision Making Conference (ISDM 2019) was both productive and pleasurable. The good questions made me reflect, revise, and clarify my arguments.

07/11/2019 - 4:18am

The 10th International Shared Decision Making Conference (ISDM 2019) was both productive and pleasurable. The good questions made me reflect, revise, and clarify my arguments.

Check this page for news of ISDM 2021. I will be building more co...

07/11/2019 - 3:00am

Two former psychiatrists for the Montana State Hospital allege that dementia patients are “bullied” into being placed on do-not-resuscitate status. “They weren’t doing aggressive medical treatment for medical problems that came up. . . . And there was an uncomfortable push for people to be on DNR status.”


07/11/2019 - 3:00am
Two former psychiatrists for the Montana State Hospital allege that dementia patients are “bullied” into being placed on do-not-resuscitate status. “They weren’t doing aggressive medical treatment for medical problems that came up. . . . And there was an uncomfortable push for people to be on DNR status.”
07/11/2019 - 3:00am

Two former psychiatrists for the Montana State Hospital allege that dementia patients are “bullied” into being placed on do-not-resuscitate status. “They weren’t doing aggressive medical treatment for medical problems that came up. . . . And there was an uncomfortable push for people to be on DNR status.”


07/11/2019 - 2:00am

The California Department of Health just released a report showing 452 terminally ill, adult patients received prescriptions written by 180 unique physicians for medical aid in dying to peacefully end their suffering and 337 of the patients took the medication in 2018. 

In contrast, in 2017, the DOH reported that 577 patients received prescriptions from 241 unique physicians and 363 of the patients took the medication.

Compassion & Choices says the temporary suspension of the California End of Life Option Act last year -- because of an ongoing lawsuit seeking to invalidate it -- likely caused a decrease in the participation in the law during the last year.

“Our goal is simply to make medical aid in dying available for those who will get peace of mind from its availability, so from this perspective, it makes no difference that fewer dying patients used the law,” said Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion & Choices.  “That said, in this case, the report appears to corroborate our anecdotal experience suggesting that the temporary suspension of the law resulted in eligible patients being deprived of this compassionate option; this situation is tragic and calls for an even greater focus on ensuring eligible patients can access the law.”

California is one of nine states — including Colorado, Hawai‘i, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington— as well as the District of Columbia, that have authorized medical aid in dying. Collectively, these 10 jurisdictions represent more than one out of five U.S. residents (22%) and have 40 years of combined experience using this end-of-life care option.

A California appeals court in late November directed a superior trial court to nullify its judgment in late May that suspended the state’s medical aid-in-dying law before the appeals court granted a stay in June reinstating the law. The Court of Appeal, 4th Appellate District (“appeals court”), ruled the physician plaintiffs didn’t establish legal standing when they filed their lawsuit in 2016 to overturn the End of Life Option Act because the law doesn’t affect them or their patients since they both are free to opt out of participating in the law.

“My terminally ill wife Christine and I found out the same evening we got home from driving to UCLA for our first appointment that the law had been invalidated. She was devastated and suffered major mental anguish and fear,” said San Luis Obispo resident Tom Whaley, whose 42-year-old cancer-stricken wife Christina finally was able to use the law three months later after it was temporarily suspended on Aug. 25, 2018. “The law’s suspension delayed Christina’s ability to obtain the prescription by at least two weeks because UCLA needed time to restart its program after the law was reinstated.”

“There’s no question the temporary suspension of the law prevented physicians from writing prescriptions for medical aid in dying,” said Chandana Banerjee, M.D., M.P.A., Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of Supportive Medicine specializing in Hospice & Palliative Medicine.  “It is already difficult for patients to access and understand the law. I am not surprised that the number of physicians who prescribed has gone down.”

As chair of the End of Life Option Act Subcommittee at City of Hope, during the temporary suspension of the law, Dr. Banerjee has also seen and addressed the challenges faced by both patients and providers. The City of Hope is co-hosting an End of Life Symposium with Compassion & Choices about the law on Sept. 27.

“At the City of Hope, caring for their patient throughout their journey in cancer is at the center of everything we do,” concluded Dr. Banerjee. “We need to do a better job of educating physicians and supporting them, so they can support their eligible patients in this option.” 

Polling shows 76 percent of Californians across the political and demographic spectrum support medical aid in dying. This majority support includes 82 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of independents, 67 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of whites, Latinos and Asian Americans, and 52 percent of African Americans

07/11/2019 - 2:00am

The California Department of Health just released a report showing 452 terminally ill, adult patients received prescriptions written by 180 unique physicians for medical aid in dying to peacefully end their suffering and 337 of the patients took the medication in 2018. 

Compassion & Choices says the temporary suspension of the California End of Life Option Act last year -- because of an ongoing lawsuit seeking to invalidate it -- likely caused a decrease in the participation in the law during the last year....