Friday, March 28, 2008

Upcoming conference on health care decision-making for the unbefriended

May 6-7, 2008
The Patient Alone: Making Health Care Choices for Patients Without  Surrogates
American Health Decisions
Boston, MA

There is a persistent problem of deciding what to do on behalf of patients who are incapacitated (or soon will be) and have no available surrogate. Responses to the problem include court appointed guardianship, public guardian programs, surrogate decision making committees, institutional and system-wide policies and protocols, as well as ad-hoc decision making by persons without legal authority to decide for patients.

The problem exists among “unbefriended elders;” returning and troubled veterans estranged from family and friends; emancipated minors with dependency problems; persons with mental illness or developmental disabilities; people whose physical disabilities or native language makes communication difficult and erroneously raises a presumption of incapacity; and others.

This non-profit conference seeks to explore the responses to date, and to move the discussion forward. We especially encourage participation by clinicians, administrators, attorneys and others who wish to collaborate with colleagues to ensure more effective strategies on this interdisciplinary issue.

Faculty: Dan Brock, PhD; Lori Cappello Dangberg; Tom Fisher, MS, LNHA; Robert D. Fleischner, JD; Lachlan Forrow, MD; Muriel R. Gillick, MD; Alice Herb, JD, LLM; Bruce Jennings, MA; Michele Karel, PhD; Naomi Karp, JD; Zita Lazzarini, JD, MPH; Jane E. Mendez, MD; Jennifer Moye, PhD; Robert D. Orr, MD; Charles P. Sabatino, JD; Mildred Z. Solomon, EdD; Gary Stein, MSW, JD; Pamela B. Teaster, PhD; Erica F. Wood, JD

For complete information and registration on line, see:

Contact: David B. Clarke, DMin,  JD, MPH, Massachusetts  Health Decisions, 781.784.1966

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