Hamline News

Professor Pope Receives Grant to Develop Hospice Guidelines

Hamline Law Professor and Director of the Health Law Institute Thaddeus Pope, along with David Casarett, M.D., associate professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and chief medical officer of Penn-Wissahickon Hospice, have been awarded a grant from the Greenwall Foundation to outline Ethical and Legal Obligations of Hospice Staff When Their Patients Receive Aid in Dying. The overarching goal of the work will be to address and provide model ethical guidelines to the hospice industry.

The project comes on the heels of the recent case of 
Barbara Mancini, an ER nurse charged with assisted suicide when she provided her dying father access to legally prescribed morphine. 

“Hospice workers have no guidelines about when they should or should not report cases of assisted suicide,” Pope said. “Many people think the Mancini case should not have been reported as it may scare people from using hospice care for fear they could be reported for acting on behalf of their loved one. If you err too far on over reporting it, there could be a lot of adverse effects.”

The grant is part of the Greenwall Foundation’s grant series, “Making a Difference in Real-World Bioethics Dilemmas.”