Brain Death Conflict - Taquisha McKitty,

Taquisha McKitty is being physiologically sustained at Brampton Civic Hospital (Ontario), even though her attending physician (Omar Hayani) issued a death certificate declaring her brain dead over a week ago (on September 20).

McKitty's parents believe the hospital acted too quickly in declaring their daughter dead, and doctors are ignoring what the family believes are responses to �stimulus� including squeezing their hands and moving her thumb when asked to do so.

The family went to court last week and won an emergency injunction temporarily preventing the hospital from removing the respirator that is keeping her alive. That injunction expires today (Thursday, 9/28) when the matter will be back before Superior Court Justice M.J. Lucille Shaw.

Medical Ethics and Treatment Decisions Following Charlie Gard - Journal of Medical Ethics Special Issue Call for Papers

From the Journal of Medical Ethics:

The court case between Charlie Gard�s parents and his Great Ormond Street Hospital medical team attracted international media attention, public protest, and comments from the Pope and US President Trump. Charlie was born with a rare genetic disease, for which there is currently no cure. Charlie�s parents found and crowdfunded for experimental treatment in the US. But his Great Ormond Street doctors argued that his condition had reached a point where such treatment was futile and not in Charlie�s best interests. The case was concluded in July during its second High Court appearance, and Charlie died on July 28, 2017 following withdrawal of treatment. 

At the heart of the disagreement were differing judgements not about medicine, but about medical ethics. The treating UK Doctors, and the US Doctor, Prof Hirano, both agreed that Charlie was unlikely to benefit from Hirano�s treatment. But they differed on whether the uncertain treatment would be in Charl…

Medical Futility Case in Alberta - Darlene Crayne

Several reports have indicated that Canadian ICU clinicians have generally "caved in" to family demands for potentially inappropriate treatment, since the Supreme Court of Canada's Rasouli decision.

But medical futility conflicts still do happen.  One case has been covered by the Canadian media.


Darlene Crayne has been in a medically induced coma at Chinook Regional Hospital since Aug. 26 after suffering a heart attack.


The medical team attending to Crayne has maintained that she has minimal brain function and reached a decision to pull the plug on her ventilator on Saturday, Sept. 23.


Crayne�s daughter disagrees, and says she sees promise during her interactions with her mother. But another of Crayne�s children sides with the medical team decision to stop the ventilator.


After threatening legal action, the family has now been told Crayne will remain on a ventilator until Wednesday afternoon Sept. 27. The family is planning court actio…

Call for Abstracts - International Conference on Clinical Ethics Consultation (ICCEC 2018)

Abstract submission is now open for the 14th International Conference on Clinical Ethics Consultation (ICCEC 2018), a leading international clinical ethics conference.  There are five themes:

1. Ethical challenges in the clinic: an impetus for research and education - Emerging challenges for clinical ethics include the use of innovative and unlicensed treatments, bedside rationing, and boundaries between health and social care

2. Theoretical foundations and conceptual frameworks of clinical ethics support - Will developing and articulating theoretical foundations for clinical ethics help to strengthen practice? What counts as a theoretical foundation and is it required? How can we foster dialogue between practice and theory?

3. Empirical ethics research: emerging from and informing clinical ethics practice - There are many questions that clinical ethics can pose for researchers. How can we identify and build on examples of high quality research to improve practice?

4. Translating clinical…

Faith and Morality and Medical Aid in Dying

Come to Hamline University on Thursday, October 5 for "Faith and Morality and Medical Aid in Dying."

Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera (Trinity United Methodist Church in Pomona, CA) will be speaking from 11:20-12:40 p.m. in Giddens Learning Center Room 110W.

Rev. Dr. Castuera is a graduate of the School of Theology at Claremont and was actively involved in the California End-of-Life Options campaign which culminated in the passage of that state�s medical aid in dying law in 2015. He has a long career advocating for social justice and nonviolence, created a positive religious response to the AIDS pandemic in his community and became the first National Chaplain for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. His book Dreams on Fire: Embers of Hope: From the Pulpits of Los Angeles After the Riots, became one of the top 10 religious books of 1992.

Minnesota Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) - Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado

Join me this Friday, September 29 for "Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) - Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado."

The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for thoughtful deliberation about the implementation of medical aid in dying legislation based on lessons learned in Oregon and,more recently, Colorado. The conference will offer suggestions about how health care professionals can achieve the best possible care for seriously ill patients and their families if medical aid in dying is legalized in Minnesota. The goal of this conference is to provide practical information and encourage rational conversations about care options at the end-of-life.