Difficult choices for patient care are increasingly made outside the hospital walls. Patients may be at home or in long-term care facilities. The decisions aren't any easier in those settings than when the patient is hospitalized, but there is definitely less help available in the community to assist families and professionals in exploring ethical questions related to patient/resident care. As a certified healthcare ethics consultant (HEC-C)* who works in the long-term care community, I offer support to you and your patients/residents and patient families.
*What is a certified healthcare ethics consultant? This is a relatively new certification for practicing bioethicists. A bioethicist is a healthcare professional who focuses on the ethical dilemmas in medicine and medical research. A bioethicist typically has either a Ph.D. in bioethics or an underlying terminal degree (MD - medical doctor, JD - attorney, PhD in philosophy, nursing, theology, social work, medical humanities) plus a graduate degree or certificate in bioethics. In my case, I have a law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and practiced for many years as an elder law attorney, where I worked with capacity issues and guardianship, powers of attorney, cases of elder abuse and financial exploitation, Wills and trusts and the probate of estates. I then obtained a master's degree in bioethics and health care policy from the Neiswanger Institute of the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago. In addition to the underlying educational requirements, bioethicists must have extensive ethics consultation and teaching experience before they are allowed to sit for a national examination given by our primary professional organization, the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities (ASBH). Upon passing that exam, a bioethicist is credentialed as an HEC-C, Healthcare Ethics Consultant - Certified.
Many of these services can be offered by phone or on line during this time of social distancing.
COVID-19 and Advance Directives: Presented with Peter Hall, Attorney at Law, in partnership with Forefront Senior Living and the T. Boone Pickens Hospice & Palliative Care Center.
Live Webinars presented June 24 and September 2, 2020:
Discussion of nuanced Advance Directives designed to reflect a patient's values and goals of care, with emphasis on issues relative to COVID-19.
Aging with a Plan: at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Rooms 207/209, Denton, TX, February 9, 16 and 23, 2020. Topics included:
Week 1: An overview of services and the types of care available for older adults, both in their own homes and in care facilities, the costs of that care and ways families might pay for it (LTC insurance, Medicaid, VA).
Week 2: A discussion of legal options - financial and medical powers of attorney, advance directives, guardianship, Wills/trusts and probate.
Week 3: End of life issues and options; funeral planning (from traditional to becoming a paperweight or part of a tree).
Monthly ethics committee meetings for long-term care professionals in the DFW metroplex. Thank you to all of you who continue to provide caring services to your patients, residents and clients through these harrowing times.
Denton Committee 2020 dates:
Dallas Committee 2020 dates:
1/28, 2/25, 3/24, 4/28, 5/26, 6/23, 7/28, 8/25, 9/22, 10/27, 11/24 - no meeting in December
Are you a senior care professional in the Dallas-Forth Worth metro interested in participating in one of our regional long-term care ethics committees? Please contact us for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org.