Monday, March 10, 2008

Webcast on "Ethical Decision-Making at End of Life"

On Monday, March 10, 2008, between 2:00 & 5:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will present a seminar in Washington, D.C., entitled "Ethical Decision-Making at the End of Life", which will be webcast for viewing over the Internet. The webcast should remain viewable for a few days after the event. [Update: As of 03/12/08, the webcast was posted in two parts for video replay online.]

The presentation is an initiative of the Wilson Center's Global Health Initiative and its Department of U.S. Studies.

The session is described, as follows:

Making decisions about medical treatment is not easy at the best of times.

The gravity and complexity of those decisions expand at the end of life.
This is even more the case when patients lack mental capacity and family members disagree about the best course to follow, or their views differ from those of the patient or the medical team.

What happens when surrogates urge decisions that conflict with the patient’s wishes or welfare? How do we know if proxy decision makers have the patient’s best interests at heart? How can patients, clinicians, and families best navigate the end-of-life journey?
The announced speakers include:
  • Edmund Pellegrino, Chairman, President's Council on Bioethics
  • K. Eric De Jonge, Director of Geriatrics, Washington Hospital Center
  • Jennifer L. Crawley, Senior Social Worker, Washington Hospital Center
  • Marie T. Connolly, former coordinator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Elder Justice and Nursing Home Initiative, and Fellow, Wilson Center
  • Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Chair in Politics, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Hull, and Fellow, Wilson Center.
This is the focus of their presentations:
[To] set out the ethical principles that govern end of life care decisions, examine the impact of the language we use on those decisions, and apply the theory and language principles to the often muddy issues that arise in their day-to-day care of hundreds of gravely ill elders at home and in the hospital.
If you are interested in viewing the live webcast of the session, you may follow these instructions provided by Marie T. Connelly (one of the speakers & a Fellow at the Wilson Center) in an email message posted March 6, 2008, on the listserv of the National Center on Elder Abuse (of the U. S. Administration on Aging):
Instructions: Go to [the Wilson Center website]; the top right corner will show a listing of the Global Health Initiative (GHI)/ Department of U.S. Studies (DUSS) event "Ethical Decision-Making at the End of Life." Click on the title of the event; this should lead you to the webcast screen.

The webcast goes live at the start of the event; click "play" on the screen anytime between 2 and 5 EST [on Monday, March 10, 2008].
Or you could try clicking the graphic at the top of this posting, or this direct link to that webpage. Prior to the event, it took me to the event's webpage, with that webcast screen.

I hope that the
Wilson Center can make arrangements to provide a transcript of the presentations, or to extend the period of availability of the webcast, after the event.

The subject matter is so important to us, both individually & collectively.

For example, later this week, on Saturday, March 15, 2008, at 3:00 p.m., a weekly radio show with a particular viewpoint will begin airing on the subjects of "
health care, end-of-life issues and the disabled", as reported in an article entitled "Terri Schiavo’s siblings to defend disabled with new radio show", posted March 8, 2008, by the Catholic News Agency.
The brother and sister of Terri Schiavo are launching a radio show called “America’s Lifeline” to address and educate Americans about health care, end-of-life issues and the disabled.

The show will make its debut on March 15 and will be hosted by The Healthcare Advocate, Carry Hall.

The weekly hour-long program, which is being sponsored by "Terri's Foundation", will originate from the studios of Talk Radio 860 WGUL in Tampa, FL and also be broadcast on the internet [

Planned topics for the show include discussion of the national healthcare situation, care for the disabled, euthanasia, doctor assisted suicide and controversial end-of-life cases. * * * [Links added.]
See also: "Terri's Foundation to Launch Live Radio Program, America's Lifeline to Protect Disabled", posted by the Christian News Network.

For an online resource regarding health care decisionmaking, both generically, and also specifically under Pennsylvania law,
see: PA HealthCare DecisionMaking, which I update periodically.

Update: 03/12/08:

Recently, the
webcast was posted in two parts for video replay online using Windows Media Player: