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issues in oncology
legislation

Medical Aid in Dying: When Legal Safeguards Become Burdensome Obstacles

In 2017, the District of Columbia (DC) became the seventh jurisdiction in the United States to legalize medical aid in dying,1 which gives terminally ill patients the option of how and when they die. The new DC statute is nearly identical to earlier enacted medical aid in dying statutes in...

issues in oncology

Informed Consent and the Oncologist: Legal Duties to Discuss Costs of Treatment

For 50 years, clinicians in the United States have had a legal duty to disclose to patients with cancer the risks, benefits, and alternatives to a proposed cancer treatment. Until recently, however, it has been unclear whether clinicians have a similar duty to discuss the costs of that treatment....

supportive care
palliative care

Ensuring Advance Directives Are Followed and Lawsuits Are Avoided

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD, has focused his legal career on improving medical care decision-making and protecting patients’ rights at the end of life. His specific areas of legal expertise include patients’ rights, informed consent, and end-of-life medicine. Dr. Pope is the coauthor of The Right ...

supportive care
palliative care

Advance Care Planning: Ensuring Patients’ End-of-Life Wishes Are Honored

When Amy Berman, BSN, LHD (aged 58), stood in front of the mirror to perform a routine breast self-exam and saw redness and dimpling on her right breast, she feared they were the telltale signs of inflammatory breast cancer. “I have never self-diagnosed myself before, but I had recently read an...

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