Ethical and Legal Obligations of Hospice Staff When Their Patients Receive Aid in Dying
Thaddeus Mason Pope
Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute
David J. Casarett
University of Pennsylvania Medical School
In 2013, the Greenwall Foundation announced the funding of a new bioethics grants program, "Making a Difference in Real-World Bioethics Dilemmas." This program is designed to support research to "help resolve an important emerging or unanswered bioethics problem in clinical care, biomedical research, public health practice, or public policy." The Foundation explained that its goal for these grants is to have a "real-world, practical impact." The Foundation made an award and decided to fund our proposal.
The overarching goal of our "Making a Difference" proposal is to rigorously address the following three questions in a structured way, providing ethical guidance to the hospice industry:
1. What obligation do hospice staff have to report instances in which they believe that a patient may have received assistance in committing suicide from a friend or family member?
2. What obligation do hospice staff have to report instances in which they believe that a patient may have received assistance from a health care provider (in states where such assistance is illegal)?
3. What are the key components of hospice policies that could provide guidance for hospice employees regarding their reporting obligations?
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: Greenwall Foundation, bioethics, public health, health, public policy, hospice, death, dying, ethics, suicide, patient, health care, obligations, CHOICE, NHPCO, NHWG
JEL Classification: K4, K32, I, I12, I18
Date posted: October 10, 2013