Deadline: August 31, 2014

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AALS Joint Program

Section on Aging and the Law  ●  Section on Law, Medicine, and Health Care

2015 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

January 3, 2015 from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m.

Unbefriended Elderly: Making Medical Treatment Decisions for Patients without Surrogates

The AALS Section on Aging and the Law and the AALS Section on Law, Medicine, and Health Care are sponsoring a joint program at the January 2015 Annual Meeting.  The program will consider many of the issues faced by elders, doctors, and the health care and social services systems when making medical treatment decisions for those incapacitated patients and residents who have no reasonably available legally authorized decision maker.

There are three confirmed panelists for this program:

(1) Ellen Fox, MD, former Chief Officer for Ethics in Health Care, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

(2) Professor Lawrence A. Frolik, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

(3) Erica Wood, JD, Assistant Director, ABA Commission on Law and Aging

Two additional panelists will be selected through this call for papers.  Either paper proposals or completed papers are acceptable for submission.  Selected panelists may receive an offer for publication from the Journal of International Aging, Law & Policy, a joint publication of Stetson University College of Law and AARP.  The Journal is interested in papers that have an international or comparative component.  Acceptance of a publication offer is not a condition for serving as a panelist.  There is no formal requirement as to length of the proposal or final paper.  Preference will be given to papers that offer novel scholarly insights on the panel topic.  A paper may have already been accepted for publication as long as it will not be published prior to the Annual Meeting.

A successful proposal may focus on the broader legal, medical, or social aspects of making medical treatment decisions for patients without surrogates.  Also welcome are proposals that focus on ways to prevent patients from becoming unbefriended in the first place.  This could include analysis of: (a) broader default surrogate laws, (b) better advance care planning, or (c) more effective public guardianship procedures.  Narrative pieces concerning the administrative and regulatory issues presented will also be considered. 

Paper proposals will be reviewed by a committee of law professors from both AALS sections. Please submit your paper or proposal by Friday, August 31, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.  Please send it BOTH to Mark Bauer (Chair, AALS Section on Aging and the Law), Stetson University College of Law, mbauer@law.stetson.edu; and to Thaddeus Pope (Chair-Elect, Section on Law, Medicine, and Health Care), Hamline University School of Law, tpope01@hamline.edu.

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