Mount St. Mary's University holds presentation on ethics of end-of-life decision making

Dr. Dzeng is Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco

EMMITSBURG, Md. - Mount St. Mary’s University in Frederick County, Md., held a presentation to talk about the ethics of end-of-life decision making. 

It can be a decision that can be hard for many people. 

“Every person is different. Every family is different and I think the dynamics between the doctors and patients and families are also very important,” said Dr. Elizabeth Dzeng, MD, PhD, MPH.  

Dr. Dzeng is an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Dzeng traveled to hospitals across the U.S. and aboard to find out what goes into a process for an end-of-life decision in older adults. 

“I looked at how institutional cultures and different policies as well as national policies influence how physicians think about these things,” continued Dr. Dzeng. 

During her presentation, she talked about factors like ethical principles, using CPR when it is at the end of the line, and discussing whether resuscitation can be used even if there was no change of survival. 

"If we can help the patient then we do so, but if it is actually going to do more harm than helping them, then I do not think we have a right to do that,” said Junior at the Mount, Elizabeth O’Hare. 

Dr. Dzeng's talk also focused on how death is not understood in America versus other countries. 

During her presentation, Dr. Dzeng also talked about how Americans are afraid of death

“We have become so technology advance that death is hidden away in hospitals and then we have things like the longevity movement,” continued Dr. Dzeng. “I think that it poses challenges to being able to acceptance death and to be able to talk about it." 

Dr. Dzeng hopes people start to have an open dialogue for their life changing decisions. For more information on Dr. Dzeng research and work. click here

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