Advertisement

Advertisement

Law and Ethics

Issues in Oncology

Firing Your Patient: How to Terminate a Treatment Relationship

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / September 10, 2019

Many clinicians are confused by the evolving opioid prescribing guideline issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) meant to stem the rising epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose in the United States.1 Many are also worried about regulatory oversight by the U.S. Drug Enfor...

Issues in Oncology
Legislation

Should You Become an Expert Witness in a Legal Proceeding? Here Are the Pros and Cons

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / August 25, 2019

Hundreds of oncologists are working “side gigs” as expert witnesses in a wide range of medicolegal settings. With increasing conflict related to liability and insurance coverage, the demand continues to grow for objective physicians who are not involved in a specific case, have no personal interes...

Issues in Oncology

Parental Treatment Refusals: What Your Responsibilities Are When Mom and Dad Decline Cancer Treatment for a Child

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / July 25, 2019

In April 2019, a 3-year-old boy, Noah McAdams, missed the third round of chemotherapy for his acute lymphoblastic leukemia. His parents wanted instead to focus on alternative remedies of cannabidiol oil, alkaline water, mushroom tea, and herbal extracts. The sheriff was summoned; Noah’s parents lost...

Issues in Oncology
Legislation

Curbside Consults: New Liability Risks to Avoid When You Are Not a Patient’s Physician

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / June 25, 2019

Like most clinicians, oncologists often informally consult their colleagues, both asking questions and seeking suggestions on how best to care for their patients.1,2 These informal or “curbside” consults (sometimes called “sidewalk,” “elevator,” or “hallway” consults) are valuable, because the fre...

Issues in Oncology

Full Disclosure: What Oncologists Must Tell Patients About Their Experience and Training

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / April 10, 2019

Informed consent is an important part of delivering quality cancer care. Traditional ethical and legal rules require clinicians to disclose three types of information: (1) the patient’s diagnosis; (2) the nature of the proposed intervention and its intended benefits, risks, and adverse effects; an...

Issues in Oncology

Health-Care Fraud Prosecutions Are on the Rise

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / March 10, 2019

Prosecuting health-care fraud is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal government agencies.1,2 After all, the government earns a $6 return for every $1 that it spends on enforcement. In December 2018, the DOJ announced that it had obtained more than $2.5 billion i...

Issues in Oncology
Legislation
Health-Care Policy

New Regulations Require Better Communication With Patients Who Have Disabilities and Limited English Proficiency

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / January 25, 2019

Ever since President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law on March 23, 2010, the nondiscrimination provision of the law, Section 1557, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health...

Legislation
Pain Management

New Laws Limiting Opioid Prescriptions Create Undue Barriers for Patients With Cancer and Cancer Survivors

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / September 25, 2018

Among other policy responses to the growing opioid epidemic, many states have enacted legislation that limits the duration or amount of opioid prescriptions issued by physicians. Although, it is clear we need strong measures to mitigate widespread overuse and misuse of opioids. These prescription-...

Issues in Oncology
Palliative Care

Expanding the Use of Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment for Patients With Advanced Cancer

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / September 10, 2018

Patients with advanced cancer often get more aggressive treatment than they want because too few oncologists elicit their end-of-life treatment preferences.1,2 In response to this problem, leading associations, including ASCO3,4 and the Institute of Medicine,5 have called for more advance care pla...

Issues in Oncology
Palliative Care

Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking Is Legal—and Ethical—for Terminally Ill Patients Looking to Hasten Death

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / June 25, 2018

Terminally ill patients with cancer will sometimes ask their clinicians for help with assisted or hastened death.1 Although palliative care and hospice care can usually address the concerns of most patients, some have physical or existential suffering that is refractory to comfort and supportive c...

Issues in Oncology
Legislation

Decision Aids Reflect Patients’ Values and Preferences for Care: So Why Aren’t More Oncologists Using Them?

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / May 10, 2018

Overwhelming evidence shows that patient decision aids, such as educational booklets, videos, or Web-based tools that take into account patients’ values and personal preferences, hold enormous promise for improving the informed consent process. Patient decision aids both reduce unwanted medical ...

Issues in Oncology

How to Respond to a Patient’s Discriminatory Request for a Different Clinician

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / April 10, 2018

Some patients may make discriminatory requests for a different clinician for their health care.1-5 These individuals may want to avoid treatment with clinicians of a certain race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin. Oncologists are not exempt from this type of patient behavio...

Issues in Oncology

Legal Duties of Clinicians When Terminally Ill Patients With Cancer or Their Surrogates Insist on ‘Futile’ Treatment

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / March 10, 2018

Law and Ethics in Oncology explores the legal and ethical issues oncologists must be aware of in this era of precision medicine and changing health-care policy, both to protect patients’ rights and to safeguard against potential legal jeopardy. For years, ASCO and other medical societies have lamen...

Issues in Oncology

Providing Cancer Treatment Without Patient Consent

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / February 25, 2018

Law and Ethics in Oncology explores the legal and ethical issues oncologists must be aware of in this era of precision medicine and changing health-care policy, both to protect patients’ rights and to safeguard against potential legal jeopardy. Increasingly, across the United States, hospitals are ...

Issues in Oncology
Legislation

Medical Aid in Dying: When Legal Safeguards Become Burdensome Obstacles

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / December 25, 2017

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 Califor...

Issues in Oncology

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

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD  / November 25, 2017

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 t...

Supportive Care
Palliative Care

Ensuring Advance Directives Are Followed and Lawsuits Are Avoided

Jo Cavallo  / July 25, 2017

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...

Advertisement

Advertisement



Advertisement