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    Bioethics Conferences, Lectures, and Events

    Dr. Albert Johnson

    The Program hosts several events each year for the public and for staff; from week long retreats to hour long lectures. Additionally, our Video Library provides videos from previous ethics education events.

    National Bioethics Symposium  |  Department of Medicine Noon Conference Series  |  Ethics WebEx Conferences  |  The Albert R. Jonsen Bioethics Symposium  |  Cambridge Consortium for Bioethics Education

    National Bioethics Symposium

    National Bioethics Symposium, Kaiser Permanente
    Moral Legitimacy: Social Justice, Vulnerable Populations and Bias

    Thursday – Saturday, November 2-4, 2017.
    Sutter Health Bioethicists Ruchika Mishra, PhD, and Shilpa Shashidhara, PhD, will be conducting a workshop on challenging ethical issues at this event organized by Kaiser Permanente NCAL Regional Ethics Program. For details and registration to attend this event where our clinical ethicists will be presenting, please visit the National Bioethics Symposium website.

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    Department of Medicine Noon Conference Series

    Here are the upcoming dates when a PMHV speaker will lecture about a clinical ethics topic for CPMC’s medical residents. This annual lecture series is part of our collaboration with Graduate Medical Education, where we teach clinical ethics to physicians in training.

    • Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

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    Ethics WebEx Conferences

    Upcoming WebEx


    Ethics WebEx series
    This year we are launching a new “What to do When..” Ethics WebEx series. This new series will focus on commonly encountered situations in patient care. PMHV bioethics professionals will provide practical solutions that attendees can implement and integrate in their practice. These sessions will be held at noon and will last for 30 minutes with an opportunity to ask questions.

    Mark your calendar for our upcoming sessions.
    What to do When the Family Wants Everything/
    September 13, 2017 Noon
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D.

    Past WebEx


    What to do When the Patient Has No One to Make Treatment Decisions
    May 10, 2017
    Faculty: Robert Fulbright, J.D., MA
    How should treatment decisions be made for unrepresented patients? This session will discuss a best practice approach in making health care decisions for unrepresented patients by outlining the steps that providers should take when a patient lacks capacity and has no family or friends available to make decisions for them.


    What to do When the Patient Lacks Capacity
    April 5, 2017
    Faculty: Ana Tyler, J.D., MA
    Who makes medical decisions for patients who lack decision making capacity? This session will outline the standards for treatment decision making, the role of patient values in health care decision making as well as who can act as a patient’s surrogate and how a surrogate decision maker can be appointed.


    What to do When the Patient Is Non-Adherent with The Plan of Care
    March 8, 2017
    Faculty: Shilpa Shashidhara, Ph.D.
    What should providers do when they encounter such patients? This session will discuss practical approaches to respond to such difficult situations, specifically outlining strategies and effective communication tools that can be applied in the medical setting.


    What to do When the Patient Wants to Leave AMA
    February 8, 2017
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D.
    What are your obligations when the patient wants to leave the hospital against medical advice? There may be risks and potential for harm if the patient is allowed to go before being medically stabilized. This session will address this uncomfortable scenario that often arises in the hospital setting and provide options that are ethically appropriate in such a situation.


    Ethical Issues around Pain Management
    November 1, 2016
    Faculty: James J. Giordano, Ph.D.
    In this lecture, neuroscientist and ethicist Dr. James Giordano provides an overview of current developments in the brain sciences that are focused upon investigating and treating pain.


    Obligations to the Challenging Patient
    September 12, 2016
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D., and Shilpa Shashidhara, Ph.D.
    This WebEx presentation will use case studies to describe difficult clinical scenarios and discuss practical approaches to respond to them. What are the ethical obligations of providers when encountering such circumstances? This session will outline strategies and effective communication tools that can be applied in the medical setting.


    End of Life Option Act
    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    Faculty: Robert Fulbright & Ruchika Mishra

    This education session will highlight the recently implemented California law that allows terminally ill patients to request a life ending medication from their physician. The basics of the new law will be discussed, including the rights and responsibilities of providers and health care organizations in the context of the law. This talk will explore the different dimensions of the California End of Life Option Act and the ethical issues raised by this law.


    Decision Making for the Unrepresented Patient
    Monday, April 11, 2016
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D, and Shilpa Shashidhara, Ph.D.

    Patients who lack decisional capacity and have no friends or family to speak on their behalf are among the most vulnerable sections of our society. This WebEx presentation will use case studies to discuss best practice clinical and organizational approach in making health care decisions for unrepresented patients. Scenarios involving routine and aggressive medical treatments, withdrawal of life support, and other commonly encountered issues that providers face when caring for these patients will be discussed. This session will also outline policy and institutional considerations to address how unrepresented patients should be treated in the health care setting.


    Refusal of Therapy by Patients with Capacity Limitations: Ethical Approaches
    Monday, February 22, 2016
    Faculty: Paul J. Ford, PhD

    At times patients make what we perceive as ill-advised choices. This can be refusing life-saving surgery, being discharged to a risky environment, or being non-adherent to medical advice. Finding a way to balance our obligation to provide standard care and promote patient wellbeing with respecting a patient’s values and choices is always difficult. This talk will explore the ethical considerations in developing treatment plans to address these “ill-advised” choices in patients whose decisional capacities are called into question.


    What is Death and What is Wrong with It?
    November 13, 2015
    Faculty: John Harris, FMedSci., FRSA, D.Phil., University of Manchester

    How should we think about the prospect of death and, for example, the ethics of various scenarios for assisted dying or for definitions of death for the purposes of organ procurement? How should we think about medically assisted dying and about advance directives or so called “living wills’ which request death in certain specified future circumstances including circumstances where the subject has lost competence?

    This WebEx was led by invited guest Professor John Harris. Dr. Harris is a British philosopher and director of The Institute for Science, Ethics, and Innovation at the University of Manchester. He is one of the leading and most influential public figures in bioethics and has acted as Ethical Consultant to a number of national and international bodies and corporations. Dr. Harris was invited as part of our Clinical Neuroethics Initiative, developed to specifically address the clinical ethical issues arising in neuroscience.


    Advance Care Planning – I & II Understanding and Implementing Advance Directives
    August 17, 2015
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D, and Shilpa Shashidhara, Ph.D.

    Health care providers are obligated to honor patient wishes and preferences as documented in their Advance Heath Care Directive. With different forms of Advance Directives available, there is a need to clarify what constitutes a valid advance directive. This WebEx session will address the components of an Advance Directive and what it means in providing ethically appropriate patient-centered care.


    The Right to Say No: When medical treatments are non-beneficial
    May 2015
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D, and Shilpa Shashidhara, Ph.D.

    At the conclusion of this course, the learner was able to understand the criteria for defining non-beneficial treatments, manage conflicts around non-beneficial treatment decisions and describe the legal guidelines for declining medical requests for non-beneficial treatments.


    Whose Decision is it? Guidelines for Health Care Decision Making
    January 2015
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D, and William S. Andereck, MD.

    At the conclusion of this course, the learner was able to list the steps for medical decision making in different patient care scenarios, describe the role of a surrogate decision maker and standards applicable to them and differentiate between the "substituted judgment" and "best interest" standards for medical decision making.



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    The Albert R. Jonsen Bioethics Symposium

    The Journey of Bioethics: Past, Present, and Future
    Thank you to everyone who attended this event. It's not too late to make a contribution to the campaign.


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    Cambridge Consortium for Bioethics Education


    Dr. Kushner (front row, left), Dr. Mishra (front row, middle), and Dr. Andereck (fourth row, furthest right), joined by fellow bioethicists at the 2017 Cambridge Consortium for Bioethics Education, Paris.

    The International Bioethics Retreat


    Dr. Andereck (third row, furthest left), Dr. Mishra (front row, middle), and Dr. Kushner (front row, third person from the right) joined by fellow bioethicists at the 2017 International Bioethics Retreat, Paris.

    Cambridge University Press partners with Sciences Po, Chesapeake IRB, Reid Hall (Columbia University) and Program in Medicine and Human Values, to host the Cambridge Consortium for Bioethics Education. This annual consortium, allied with the International Bioethics Retreat, brings bioethics educators from all over the world to engage in information sharing, bioethics education innovation, and scholarship. We at PMHV take pride in our long-standing international collaborations, thus we are well represented as both events are organized by Dr. Thomasine Kushner, with Dr. William Andereck serving as Master of Ceremonies. Please visit icmbioethics.com/ for dates and more detailed information.
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