Coronavirus Update: Ethics Considerations, Guidance and Resources.
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Presentation Recordings: VEN Fall 2021 Ethics Education Series

Posted: September 2, 2021

Session 1

Tangled Terminology: Avoiding the Ethical Pitfalls of Misnomers in Decision-making Language

Presented by: Cindy Bruzzese, MPA, MSB, HEC-C: Executive Director & Clinical Ethicist, Vermont Ethics Network; Clinical Ethicist, UVM Medical Center

Medical decision-making terminology can be confusing and sometimes the words we use convey a meaning that was not intended (i.e. a preference for CPR in an advance directive is not equivalent to a DNR order). This session will untangle the acronyms and terms, highlight potential pitfalls and underscore the importance of language when it comes to health care decisions.

Recorded Sept. 28th 2021, via Zoom.

Session 2

Exceptions to the Rule: When Minors Get to Make Their Own Medical Decisions

Presented by: Bob Macauley, MD, FAAP, FAAHPM, HEC-C: Cambia Health Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Palliative Care, Oregon Health and Science University

While 18 is the “age of majority,” there are several situations where patients younger than that are authorized to make their own medical decisions. This session will explore the minor treatment statutes, emancipation, and the mature minor doctrine, as well as current challenges relating to vaccination of minors without their parents’ consent.

Recorded Oct. 5th, 2021 via Zoom

Session 3

Determining Capacity on the Frontlines

Presented by: Evie Marcolini, MD, FAAEM, FACEP, FCCM: Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Neurology; Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Decisional capacity is fundamental to the autonomous rights that patients have to make decisions about their health care. While capacity is presumed, it is not uncommon to encounter patients who have limits to decision-making capabilities. This session will review the basics of capacity assessment and the challenges to care management when there is uncertainty about decisional capacity.

Recorded Oct. 19, 2021 via Zoom

Session 4

What I Hate About Advance Directives: A Panel Discussion

Presented by: Linda Hurley, MS, RN: Nurse Educator, Psychiatry DHMC and Belle Matheson, APRN: Palliative Care UVM Medical Center; (Panel Discussion facilitated by Cindy Bruzzese)

Through discussion of case studies, we will highlight and explore wording commonly used in health care directives that is potentially ambiguous and may lead to misunderstanding of patient goals and wishes.

Recorded Oct. 26th, 2021 via Zoom

Session 5

Let’s Talk Refusals

Presented by: Sally Bliss, RN, MSB, HEC-C: Clinical Ethicist, UVM Medical Center, Adjunct Assistant Professor, UVM Larner College of Medicine; Erika Smart, JD: Legal Risk Manager, UVM Medical Center and Stas Amato, MD, MSc, General Surgery Resident, PGY-Research, Clinical Ethics Fellow, UVM Medical Center

We are obligated to provide our very best care to the patients we see. Yet sometimes, patient’s disagree with our recommendations and refuse what is being offered. This session will discuss the ethical obligations and legal framework for addressing patient refusals in a variety of clinical situations.

Recorded Nov. 2nd, 2021 via Zoom