Foreword: Symposium: Health Law and the Elderly: Managing Risk at the End of Life
10 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2012
Date Written: January 1, 2011
The 2010 Widener University Law Review Symposium, Health Law and the Elderly: Managing Risk at the End of Life, was held on March 26, 2010 at the Widener University School of Law’s Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom in Wilmington, Delaware. It was co-sponsored by the Widener University School of Nursing, the Medical Society of Delaware, the Delaware End-of-Life Coalition, and Delaware Hospice.
The Symposium brought together a group of thoughtful and accomplished scholars and practitioners to assess and improve how consumers and professionals plan for the end of life. Local and national experts addressed topics such as advance care planning, MOLST, decision-making capacity, end-of-life communication, fraud and abuse laws impacting hospice, professional ethics, and aid-in-dying.
End-of-life healthcare has been getting more attention than ever. However, there are serious ongoing problems. Many are due to the fact that lawyers lack a sufficient appreciation of the clinical reality and how decision-making standards are actually implemented. Analogously, healthcare providers lack a sufficient understanding of the governing legal standards.
To address both these shortcomings, the Symposium was directed not only to lawyers but also to physicians, hospital administrators, hospital ethics committee members, nurses, social workers, other health professionals, health policy experts, and academics involved in these disciplines. To enhance its value and interest in these professionals, the Symposium was approved for CLE credits (including ethics credits), CE credits for nursing, and CME credits for medicine.
This Symposium brought these various disciplines together to identify problems, challenges, strategies, and solutions. Both the Symposium, and the articles published in this issue of the Widener Law Review that stemmed from presentations at that event, make significant contributions to a critical and topical concern for contemporary society.
Keywords: health law, health care, elderly, death, dying, end of life, MOLST, advance care planning, hospice, organ donation, DNR, advance directives, palliative care, VSED
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation