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End-of-Life Care: Weighing Ethics and Rationing Resources

Complete video at: A panel of experts discusses the ethics and practicality of rationing care to patients who are close to death. Bioethicist Arthur Caplan argues that spending money on elderly invalids diverts funds from other important areas, while attorney Ken Connor contends that rationing care devalues human life. ----- Rising budget deficits have become a principal concern of the American people in recent months, and are already a cause c?l?bre for politicians in both parties ahead of this year's midterm elections. Yet the current round of healthcare negotiations has largely sidestepped one of the most costly elements in health spending: end-of-life patient care. - Miller Center of Public Affairs Arthur Caplan serves as the Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and the Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He is the author or editor of twenty-five books and over 500 papers in refereed journals of medicine, science, philosophy, bioethics and health policy. His most recent book is Smart Mice Not So Smart People (2006). Ken Connor is Chairman of The Center for a Just Society, and a board certified civil trial attorney affiliated with the law firm of Marks Balette & Giessel, P.C., which represents victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. He served as President of the Family Research Council from 2000 to 2003. Connor was the lead attorney representing Gov. Jeb Bush in defense of Terri's Law, the legislation named for Terri Schiavo. Connor is the author of Sinful Silence: When Christians Neglect Their Civic Duty (2004). Ira Byock is Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Professor at Dartmouth Medical School. He is a past president (1997) of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He served previously as Director for Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care (1996-2006), a national grant program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Byock is the author of numerous books and articles on the ethics and practice of hospice, palliative and end-of-life care, including Dying Well (1997) and The Four Things That Matter Most (2004).
Length: 06:07


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