Speakers Bureau

Ethics

Strengths and Pitfalls in Advanced Directives for Health Care

Studies show that advanced directives for health care are often ignored at the end of life. By examining the strengths, pitfalls, and origins of advanced directives (Living Wills, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Cruzan), we explore both practical ways for health care providers and patients to help ensure that patient wishes are carried out.

Research on Prayer and Patient Outcomes

There is little doubt that, under many circumstances, prayer can improve patient outcomes. But is this due to the intercessory power of prayer, or is it due to a form of placebo effect. In other words, does the person get better simply because they believe prayer helps? Presenter reviews the issues and the research on prayer and patient outcomes.

Ethical Issues in Refusing Care for Reasons of Personal Conscience

The controversy over Plan B has again brought issues of personal conscience to the fore in health care. Should pharmacists be allowed to refuse a legal prescription (or even behind the counter) due to the pharmacist's personal beliefs? On a broader level, how does this issue apply to other care givers, such as physicians and nurses?

Difficult Patients, Over Medication, And Group Think

Some patients, or patient interactions, are described as particularly difficult for caregivers - evoking feelings of repulsion, anger, or frustration. These patients are particularly susceptible to over medication because of the nature of these interactions. In this session, the presenter examines a case from a group home where the patient was unnecessarily over medicated. We then explore how to recognize and avoid these sorts of patient interactions and group dynamics.

Ethics, Aids, and Needle Exchange

Needle exchange programs are intended to reduce the risk of AIDS and other diseases for intravenous drug users. Some, however, are concerned that such programs may encourage drug use and thus, indirectly, increase both disease and other social costs. The data from actual studies, however, suggests that studies are at worst neutral, and in some cases actually reduce rates of intravenous drug use. Presenter examines the data, ethics, and the lessons for setting up such programs in the future.

Ethics, Politics, and Economics in Health Care Systems

Despite spending nearly 50 percent more per capita than any other nation, the U.S. health care system consistently ranks near last among major industrialized nations in terms of nearly all global measures of access and effectiveness. Why? What can be done to both decrease costs and increase effectiveness? There are two versions of this talk. One focuses on the U.S. and Canada, the other examines characteristics of multiple care systems.

The Limits of the Golden Rule

Presentation covers the reasons why the Golden Rule as commonly interpreted sometimes limits our ability to behave as ethical people and proposes strategies for the Golden Rule to "work" as it was intended.

  • basic argument is that it doesn't work in diverse organizations and a diverse world if taken literally
  • speaker uses examples from other traditions as well

Ethical and Legal Issues in Caring for Patients from Another Culture

What obligations does a physician have when caring for a patient whose culture is fundamentally different than our own? What obligations do physicians have in providing medical translators? If dealing with a culture which believes that a patient should not be told when terminal, how can physicians negotiate this conflict? Presenter explores these issues using cases drawn from Bosnian immigrants.