Sep 1, 2019 • 36M

Dr. Lewis Cohen Discusses His Just-Published Book, "A Dignified Ending, Taking Control Over How We Die" (August 29th)

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David Introcaso, Ph.D.
Podcast interviews with health policy experts on timely subjects. The Healthcare Policy Podcast website features audio interviews with healthcare policy experts on timely topics. An online public forum routinely presenting expert healthcare policy analysis and comment is lacking. While other healthcare policy website programming exists, these typically present vested interest viewpoints or do not combine informed policy analysis with political insight or acumen. Since healthcare policy issues are typically complex, clear, reasoned, dispassionate discussion is required. These podcasts will attempt to fill this void. Among other topics this podcast will address: •Implementation of the Affordable Care Act •Other federal Medicare and state Medicaid health care issues •Federal health care regulatory oversight, moreover CMS and the FDA •Healthcare research •Private sector healthcare delivery reforms including access, reimbursement and quality issues •Public health issues including the social determinates of health Listeners are welcomed to share their program comments and suggest programming ideas. Comments made by the interviewees are strictly their own and do not represent those of their affiliated organization/s.
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Medical aid in dying is now legal in nine states and the District of Columbia or is available to approximately one-fifth of the US population.  State medical societies allow physicians to provide treatment that comports with their conscience, survey data shows the practice enjoys substantial public support and the option is available in numerous foreign countries including the Netherlands where it is available to children with their parents' consent.  Nevertheless, the practice remains controversial.  Listeners may be aware I've discussed end of life care during several previous podcasts dating back to June 2013 when I discussed advanced care directives with the American Bar Association's Charlie Sabatino.  

During this 35 minute discussion, Dr. Cohen begins our discussion by explaining how suicide became defined as a mental illness and life insurance coverage in instances where aid in dying has been exploited.  the problems associated with medical aid in dying for patients with disabilities and those suffering with Alzheimer's or related cognitive impairments and whether aid in dying should be restricted to the terminally ill.  He discusses several case histories including the aid in dying deaths of Admiral Chester J. and Joan Nimitz, Jack Kevorkian's work and efforts by the Hemlock Society, Caring Friends and the Final Exit Network.  

Dr. Lewis Cohen is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts-Baystate School of Medicine, and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Tufts University School of
Medicine.  He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Medicine and Health, two Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency awards, and a Bogliasco Fellowship for the Arts and Humanity, as well as the Eleanor and Thomas Hackett Award from the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry.  He is the author or co-editor of several previously published books, including No Good Deed.  Dr. Cohen earned his MD at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University and is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

For more information on A Dignified Ending go to:

For information on Compassion and Choices and Final Exit Network (successor organizations to the Hemlock Society) go to: and