2012 HLI Symposium:
Legal, Medical, and Ethical Issues in Minnesota End-of-Life Care

November 8-9, 2012
Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minn.

The Health Law Institute at Hamline University and the Hamline Law Review were pleased to present their 2012 Symposium, Legal, Medical, and Ethical Issues in Minnesota End-of-Life Care. Federal and Minnesota law recognize that individuals generally have the right to choose the time and manner of their death.  However, these rights are not uniformly recognized in practice and there are many legal and practical limits on when and how they are honored.  This conference addressed a broad range of legal, medical, and ethical issues in Minnesota end-of-life care.  In particular, the conference addressed:

  • Minnesota POLST (Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)
  • Medical decision making for the "unbefriended" (incapacitated patients and long-term care residents with no reasonably available surrogate)
  • Guardianship processes and procedures
  • Ethical issues in surrogate decision making
  • Medical futility disputes (over whether requested treatment is appropriate and beneficial)

Symposium informational brochure (overview, objectives, directions and parking, schedule descriptions, planning committee, campus map, and registration form)

Click here to see photos from the event!


Over 200 guests attended the Symposium.  Guests included attorneys, physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, legal aids, professors, ethicists, and students.  Major organizations in attendance included Mayo Clinic, Children's Hospitals, Veterans Affairs, Mercy Hospital, University of Minnesota, William Mitchell College of Law, Allina, HelathPartners, United, Medica, American Cancer Society, Park Nicollet, Abbott Northwestern, North Memorial Hospital, Sanford, HCMC, MN Department of Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, and the MN House of Representatives.


Thursday, November 8, 2012  

7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. - Expiration Date, Landmark Center, Weyerhaeuser Auditorium

Friday, November 9, 2012

Welcome and opening remarks

  • Thaddeus M. Pope, JD, Ph.D., Director, Health Law Institute, Associate Professor, Hamline University School of Law
  • Elizabeth Winchell, Editor-in-Chief, Hamline Law Review 

POLST (Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)

  • Bernard "Bud" Hammes, Ph.D., Director, Medical Humanities and Respecting Choices Gundersen Lutheran Health System; Chair, National POLST Paradigm Task Force; Vice President, International Society of Advance Care Planning and End of Life Care
  • Edward Ratner, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota; Medical Director, Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice

POLST: Challenges and Strategies

New Problems with Surrogate Decision Making

Guardianship Procedures and Processes

Medical Decision Making for the Unbefriended

  • Andrea Palumbo, JD, Gores Law Office
  • Anita Raymond, M.S.W., LISW, CMC, Volunteers of America of Minnesota
  • Rebecca Volpe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Penn State College of Medicine; Director, Clinical Ethics Consultation Service, Penn State Hershey Medical Center

Medical Futility Disputes

  • Victor Sandler, M.D., Medical Director, Fairview Home Care & Hospice; Co-Chair, Bioethics Committee, University of Minnesota Medical Center
  • Kathleen Meyerle, JD, Legal Department, Mayo Clinic
  • Suzy Scheller, JD, Scheller Legal Solutions LLC.

Patient Choice at the End of Life

  • Kathryn Tucker, JD, Director of Legal Affairs, Compassion & Choices; Adjunct Professor of Law, Loyola Law School/Los Angeles


The Hamline Law Review Issue 2 of Volume 36 was released in October 2013 and serves as a complement to the November Symposium.  A digital copy of the Journal and all of the articles can be found here. To order a hard copy, please send a check for $8 with the shipping address requesting Volume 36, Issue 2 to:

Operations Editor
Hamline Law Review
Hamline University School of Law
1536 Hewitt Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104

Continuing Education Credits

Law: This program has been approved by the Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education. The event has been approved for 6.5 standard CLE credits (event number: 172750).

Nursing: This program is designed to enhance your ability to practice nursing.  Pursuant to the rules of the Minnesota Board of Nursing, this program qualifies for 7.8 contact hours. The Health Law Institute will provide participants requesting CE units with a certificate of attendance.

Social Work: This program meets the CE requirements of the Minnesota Board of Social Work.  It will contribute to the practice of social work and is intended for the benefit of practicing social workers. This program qualifies for 6.5 CE hours.


If you have questions about this program, please contact:
Kari Winter, Program Manager
Phone: 651-523-2130