Hamline News

HLI to host symposium on end-of-life care


The Health Law Institute at Hamline University School of Law and the Hamline Law Review are hosting a symposium entitled, “Legal, Medical, and Ethical Issues in Minnesota End-of-Life Care,” Nov. 8-9.

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.

The symposium begins with a special performance of Expiration Date, a multidisciplinary, solo theater work created and performed by Candy Simmons of SunsetGun Productions. Through a multi-character performance, layering traditional monologue, video, music, and movement, viewers experience the story of Lucille, a young woman struggling with the realities of a terminal diagnosis. Lucille’s journey offers an unsentimental, raw, irreverent, and darkly comedic peek into the approach of the end of one's life.

This performance of Expiration Date is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Weyerhaeuser Auditorium in the Landmark Center in Saint Paul. It is open to the public, and symposium attendees will receive a discounted admission price.

The symposium continues Friday, Nov. 9 at 8 a.m. in the Anderson Center on Hamline University’s Saint Paul campus. Regional and national experts will explore the intersection of law and end-of-life care, including the following:

  • Minnesota POLST (Physician 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).

The symposium is designed for a wide audience, including health care providers, lawyers, government officials, and academics. Continuing education credits have been approved for lawyers, nurses, and social workers. It has been approved by the Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education for 6.5 standard CLE credits (event number: 172750). 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. The program also 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.

An upcoming issue of the Hamline Law Review will serve as a complement to the November symposium. The symposium issue is scheduled to be Issue 2 of Volume 36, slated for publication in March/April 2013.

Sponsorship and registration information, including fee structure, is available at law.hamline.edu/healthlaw. The event is free to current Hamline Law students, faculty, and staff and HLI Advisory Board members.

Contact Kari Winter at 651-523-2130 or kinter03@hamline.edu for more information.

Learn more:
Hamline Health Law Institute symposium: Legal, Medical, and Ethical Issues in Minnesota End-of-Life Care