March 24, 2005 |
The so-called ethical debate over whether to reconnect the feeding tube that kept Terri Schiavo alive for 15 years has produced more myths than facts. Self-appointed experts appear on every "news" show, spewing forth unsubstantiated opinion as fact, misleading listeners, and further confusing complex issues while claiming to clarify them. This has led to the development of unfounded myths concerning end-of-life decisions. I would like to dispel some of the myths that have become part of our common language.
March 10, 2004
Role in executions violates doctors' oath Re: the article by Robert Moran and Kaitlin Gurney ("N.J. court suspends executions," Feb. 21). Appellate Judge Sylvia B. Pressler's granting a moratorium on executions by lethal injection holds that the New Jersey Department of Corrections does not have sufficient medical expertise to carry out executions by this method. It will never be possible for the department to have executioners of sufficient expertise, because physician participation in executions is a violation of medical ethics.
April 18, 2003 |
The case of Marshall Klavan has been characterized as a complaint of "wrongful life" and a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury yesterday heard why at the opening of an unusual civil trial. Klavan, 71, a former obstetrician and gynecologist at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, has been in a nursing home for six years, incapacitated by a stroke. Fearing a stroke, Klavan had written an "advanced medical directive," or living will, in 1993 prohibiting extreme medical measures if he were to develop an "incurable or . . . irreversible mental or physical condition.
April 10, 2003 |
Bruce Diamond, a Georgia pharmacologist, went from a lavish lifestyle as a respected drug researcher to strip searches, lousy food, sleep deprivation, and menial work as an imprisoned felon. Yesterday, he shared with colleagues the big reason they should not violate medical ethics and laws. "To prevent what happened to me from happening to you," the scientist told the annual meeting of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, at the Convention Center. The association, with 17,000 members worldwide, aims to promote ethical practices in the testing of experimental drugs and treatments on humans.
November 7, 2002
I believe that a great disservice has been done to both our citizens and our officers as a result of the events reported in The Inquirer on Oct. 24 and 25. ("Report blasts city drug unit supervision," Oct. 24; "Ortiz calls for City Council hearings on narcotics unit," Oct. 25.) We at Philadelphia Lodge #5, Fraternal Order of Police, are responsible for ensuring that the rights of our police officers and deputy sheriffs are protected. We do not and will not condone corrupt actions by any member of our bargaining unit.
November 4, 2002 |
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is taking another crack at one of medicine's thorniest issues: how to treat people who have no hope of recovery. The hospital's ethics committee has approved unusual new guidelines that include limits on high-tech treatment for patients with severe brain damage. Under the guidelines, intensive care would not routinely be given to patients in a persistent vegetative or minimally conscious state. Only patients who had explicitly requested such care would get it. The guidelines, which will not be implemented for at least a year, also say what the hospital will do for patients, both when there is hope for recovery and, later, when the goal shifts to providing good "hygiene, preservation of dignity, and alleviation of discomfort or suffering.
January 9, 2000 |
Forget dogs. Pigs are man's best friend. That is, as a future source of organs for transplantation into humans. "A pig is almost a human being prone, because the size is about right," Arthur L. Caplan, editor of The Ethics of Organ Transplants: The Current Debate (Prometheus Books, $17.95), said in a recent interview. And as to whether animals should be sacrificed to save the lives of humans, Caplan, who is trustee professor and director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, is unequivocal.
December 24, 1998 |
Doctors caring for the newborn octuplets in Houston estimate that before the babies go home, they are likely to require at least $2 million of care, or about $250,000 per infant. No one likes to count pennies when it comes to health care, especially for fragile, premature babies such as the eight born to Nkem Chukwu. But in cases of the growing number of multiple births induced by excessive fertility treatments, medical and ethical experts say the enormous expense is entirely avoidable and even irresponsible.
June 9, 1997 |
The doctor thought his 35-year-old patient seemed to be coping as well as possible with terminal lung cancer, except for his insomnia. But as soon as the doctor agreed to write a prescription for sleeping pills, the patient asked for an outlandishly powerful dosage. "I might as well tell you, doctor, I want the pills so I can choose when to die," the man said last week. "I appreciate you confiding in me," responded the shaken doctor, "but I can't condone that. From my standpoint, I can't give you medications that will end your life.
October 4, 1996 |
The Rev. Francis J. Leonard, 60, pastor of Holy Maternity Roman Catholic Church in Audubon, died yesterday at St. Mary's Nursing Home, Cherry Hill. Born and raised in Camden, he was a graduate of Camden Catholic High School where he excelled in debating. He then attended St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Jordan Seminary in Menominee, Mich., St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, and the University of Louvain in Belgium, where he earned his master's degree. He was ordained in 1963 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Camden.