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Vermont Ethics Network

Working to increase awareness of ethical issues, values and choices in health and health care.

Medical Decision-Making

Medical Decision-Making

Taking Steps Vermont

There may come a time when you are unable to speak for yourself. The best way to ensure that your wishes are known and honored is to talk with those closest to you and your health care providers about what matters most.

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Medical Ethics

Medical Ethics

Relevant Topics in Bioethics

Medical ethics is a field of study that draws from philosophy, law and medicine. There are four core principles in bioethics that define the ethical obligations that health care providers owe to patients. The application of these principles to individual cases can be helpful in resolving difficult questions that arise in health care.

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Palliative & End-of-Life Care

Palliative & End-of-Life Care

Information for those living with serious illness

Palliative care is specialized care that is directed at managing the symptoms of those who are living with serious or advanced illness. It is appropriate for individuals who are seeking treatment for their disease, as well as for those who have shifted their goals to a more comfort-directed plan of care.

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Latest News & Upcoming Events

Register for Our Virtual Fall Palliative Care Conference on Nov 9!

Registration is now open for VEN's Fall Palliative Care Conference which will be held virtually on Monday, November 9. Learn more and sign up!

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Black Women Can't Breathe (The Hastings Center)

Years before George Floyd begged to be released from under the knee of Officer Derek Chauvin, Barbara Dawson, a 57-year-old Black woman, died begging a police officer, John Tadlock, not to remove her oxygen mask. Her death occurred right outside the Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Florida, shortly before Christmas in 2015.

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Communication Skills Champion Program (TalkVermont)

This TalkVermont course aims to provide extra training for TalkVermont graduates who can serve as role-models and champions in patient-centered communication skills for serious illness conversations

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Mastering Early Goals of Care Conversations Virtual Course (TalkVermont)

TalkVermont is offering a Mastering Early Goals of Care Conversations Virtual Course this fall which focuses on communicating prognosis and discussing goals of care with patients who are in the early stages of their serious illness, often in the outpatient setting.

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Fair Compensation for Rare Vaccine Harms (The Hastings Center)

As multiple Covid vaccine candidates enter clinical trials and hopefully move closer to approval, one important unanswered question is how to compensate the rare cases of serious vaccine harm if any arise (whether during a trial, or after distribution).

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End-of-Life University Podcast Highlights Innovations for Advance Care Planning

Learn how an innovative company is contracting with insurers to educate patients about health care decision-making on a recent episode of the End-of-Life University Podcast.

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Covid-19 and Deafness: Why the Protocols Fall Short (The Hastings Center)

Masks have become required attire, and their importance in this pandemic cannot be overstated. However, while they protect against people breathing viral particles into the air, they also make lip-reading impossible. For me, communicating with someone wearing a mask is an exhausting struggle, because their lips, which I rely on very heavily, are not visible.

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Weekly Advance Care Planning Information Meetings via Zoom

Our colleagues at Taking Steps Brattleboro are offering free weekly Advance Care Planning Information Meetings via Zoom every Wednesday at 10am.

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Lawsuits of Last Resort: Employees Fight for Safe Workplaces during Covid-19 (The Hastings Center)

In such exigent circumstances it is not surprising that novel legal theories also have been asserted to compel employers to protect employees exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Several recently filed cases have caused some lawyers to ponder a branch of law they have not thought about since law school–public nuisance.

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The Police Tried to Make Me Medically Examine a Man Against His Will (ZORA)

"Just make him do it!” A voice rang out, followed by the sound of metal grating on metal. I leaned past my computer screen toward the triage area to see a young man in handcuffs chafing at the bony prominences of his reddened wrists. Fading charcoal gray lines of graphic tattoos on his left forearm were almost indecipherable against his dark skin.

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Before We Turn to Digital Contact Tracing for Covid, Remember Surveillance in the Sixties (The Hastings Center)

For three years during the 1960s, I worked for various organizations, all of us trying to end the war in Vietnam. At one point, I was employed by the Fifth Avenue Peace Parade Committee, while my boyfriend worked for the Student Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam (affectionately known as “The Mobe”).

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Black Lives in a Pandemic: Implications of Systemic Injustice for End‐of‐Life Care (The Hastings Center Report)

In recent months, Covid‐19 has devastated African American communities across the nation, and a Minneapolis police officer murdered George Floyd. The agents of death may be novel, but the phenomena of long‐standing epidemics of premature black death and of police violence are not.

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Covid-19 Makes Clear that Bioethics Must Confront Health Disparities (The Hastings Center)

With some reluctance, I’ve come to the sad realization the Covid-19 pandemic has been a stress test for bioethics, a field of study that intersects medicine, law, the humanities and the social sciences. As both a physician and medical ethicist, I arrived at this conclusion after spending months at what was once the epicenter of the pandemic: New York City. I was overseeing a 24/7 bioethics consultation service.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic Shows Why We Must—And How We Can—End Racial Injustice in Health (TIME)

It’s long past time to end the disproportionate, unjust and unnatural impact of disease on black Americans and other people of color. Diseases—like COVID-19—do not discriminate. Yet they spread more rapidly among those discriminated against.

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VEN Ethics Survey Results

View the results of our Ethics Survey for Vermont & New Hampshire conducted in the summer of 2019.

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