Associate Dean Diane Hoffmann appeared on Baltimore's WYPR-FM in advance of the recent conference on Medical Futility & Maryland Law, explaining the end-of-life-care law that she helped draft and the new discussions on whether and how it should be changed.
On the "Midday" program, Hoffmann discussed some of the provisions of the state's 1993 Health Care Decisions Act, which attempted to strike a balance between the wishes of a patient and their family, and the findings of doctors who determined that further medical treatment could no longer be effective. She also acknowledged the limits and constraints of the law.
Hoffmann appeared on the program with Anita Tarzian, an associate professor in Family & Community Health at the School of Nursing and another organizer of the Medical Futility conference, and with Michael Gloth, director of outpatient services for the division of geriatric medicine and gerontology at Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
The conference, held a week after the "Midday" discussion, attracted almost two hundred medical and legal experts and practitioners to the University of Maryland, Baltimore's Southern Management Corporation Campus Center. It was sponsored by the Maryland Health Care Ethics Committee and the School of Law's Law & Health Care Program. Baltimore's Harbor Hospital was a partner, and the Judge Martin Greenfield Bioethics Fund also provided support.
Hoffmann is director of the Law & Health Care Program, and has served on ethics committees at the University of Maryland Medical Systems, the National Institutes of Health, the VA Medical Center in Baltimore, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association. Her research examines advance directives, obstacles to adequate pain treatment, end-of-life care and termination of life support, genetic testing, and regulation of human subject research.
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