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Annual Meeting and Announcements

Ethics Sessions Scheduled for IM 2017

Committee: Ethics, Professionalism & Human Rights Committee (EPHRC)
Staff Liaison: Lois Snyder Sulmasy, JD

March 30, 2017

2:15 PM - 3:45 PM OpenNotes and Patient Engagement: A Point/Counterpoint Discussion
PN 031

Clinical Questions:

  1. What are the benefits of direct patient electronic access to OpenNotes?
  2. What are the ethical challenges raised by patient access to OpenNotes?
  3. What skills and tools do physicians need when writing notes that will be directly accessed by patients?

March 31, 2017

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM Practical Palliative Care: Managing Pain at the End of Life
MTP 105

Clinical Questions:

  1. What are common fears and concerns about pain control that prevent patients and their families from pursuing pain management, and what are some proven strategies for addressing them?
  2. What are the recent developments regarding pharmacologic pain therapy?
  3. How can physicians identify and manage other aspects of suffering in patients near the end of life that present as "pain"?

2:15 PM - 3:45 PM Ethical Challenges Role Play: Communicating with Patients about Potentially Controversial Topics
PN 029

Clinical Questions:

  1. What ethical dilemmas do physicians face when communicating about potentially controversial subjects with patients?
  2. What should physicians do when state law prohibits discussion of certain health issues?
  3. What practical skills and tools can physicians use to discuss potentially controversial topics with patients?

April 1, 2017

11:15 AM - 12:45 PM Genomics and Primary Care: Ethical and Practical Implications
PN 030

Clinical Questions:

  1. What are the current and emerging ethical challenges raised by genomic medicine in primary care?
  2. What are ethical best practices in primary care genomics?
  3. When should a patient be referred to a genetics specialist?

National Healthcare Decisions Day

The 9th Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) was held on April 16, 2016. A collaborative effort among national, state and community organizations, NHDD is intended to ensure that "all adults with decision-making capacity in the United States have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions." NHDD activities aim to increase awareness of the purposes and benefits of advance care planning, make resources for completing an advance directive available to those wishing to complete a directive, and encourage conversations with family, friends and health care providers about future healthcare wishes.

Over the past seven years, NHDD has succeeded in reaching millions of people with information about advance directives and National Healthcare Decisions Day, and over 29,000 advance directives have been completed on National Healthcare Decision Days themselves. For more information about becoming involved in National Healthcare Decisions Day, visit their website at

Past session information is available upon request. Please email for more information.