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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

Would I Give Aducanumab to My Mother? (The Hastings Center)

Aducanumab has just been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. It is likely that many people who are candidates for the drug will no longer be competent to make their own health care decisions, and will be relying heavily on others to make the decision with them or for them.

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What a Bad Day Science Had (The Hastings Center)

June 7, 2021, was a bad day for science. That was the day the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved aducanumab for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, even though a committee of its own selected experts recommended strongly against approval.

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U.S. Organ Donation Needs Better Oversight, but New Rule Will Not Help (The Hastings Center)

This year, CMS passed/promulgated a new final rule establishing, among other things, that death certificate data drawn from a database of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be used to determine the number of eligible donors. While attractive as a “readily and publicly available” resource for estimating donor potential, using death certificate data to measure actual donor potential is dangerously flawed.

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‘I Need to Know I Tried’ (The New York Times)

Time-limited trials offer I.C.U. patients and their families a sense of empowerment in the face of low odds.

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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 and 6pm.

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Vaccinated and Still Isolated: The Ethics of Overprotecting Nursing Home Residents (The Hastings Center)

The pandemic is not over, but light is beginning to crest the horizon. Vaccination rates, especially among older adults and their caregivers, are rising. As we begin to relax physical distancing requirements on restaurants and professional sports, it’s time to urgently reconsider the severe restrictions imposed on nursing home residents.

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National Healthcare Decisions Day -- Why me? (Brattleboro Reformer)

An op-ed by Don Freeman of Taking Steps Brattleboro, a program of Brattleboro Area Hospice, reminding readers of the importance of completing an advance directive.

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Mildred Solomon on Disability Rights and Bioethics (The Hastings Center)

Hastings Center president Mildred Solomon discussed disability rights and bioethics, including COVID-related issues, during an interview on “Included: The Disability Equity Podcast." Listen and find additional related resources.

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Surrogate Decision-Making for Incarcerated Patients: A Pandemic-Inspired Call to Action (The Hastings Center)

As Covid-19 continues to plague the United States, insufficient attention has been paid to the role that incarcerated persons play in the persistence of this pandemic and the work that should be done to limit their infection and suffering.

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Working Around the System: Vaccine Navigators and Vaccine Equity (The Hastings Center)

As states continue to expand access to Covid-19 vaccination to prioritized groups, members of the public are observing system problems firsthand. Vaccine navigators have emerged as a response to complexity.

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Vaccine Hesitancy Is No Excuse for Systemic Racism (The Hastings Center)

As students, professors, and practitioners of medicine, we know that teachable moments are often found outside the classroom walls. We have seen that Black and brown communities are disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. But juxtaposing these disparities with vaccination rates is even more disturbing. Fewer vaccines are going to Black people.

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Ethics Supports Seeking Population Immunity, Not Immunizing Priority Groups (The Hastings Center)

There have been some calls for a more pragmatic approach eschewing micromanaging distribution and instead focusing on speed and access. While there are indeed practical considerations supporting a more logistically streamlined system, we believe there are, more importantly, ethical reasons to prefer an approach that vaccinates more people more rapidly.

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Filing Suit for ‘Wrongful Life’ (The New York Times)

More Americans are writing end-of-life instructions as the pandemic renders such decisions less abstract. But are medical providers listening?

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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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