Devan Stahl, Assistant Professor, Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, Department of Pediatrics and Human Development Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy
Title – Responding to Hopes for a Miracle
Abstract: How should clinicians respond to patient’s or family’s hope for a “miracle”? What if the family wants to continue aggressive care that clinicians believe is non-beneficial in the hopes that a miracle will occur? The presentation will frame the discussion of miracle language and offer practical guidance on working with patients and families who invoke miracle language during a patient’s hospital stay.
At the end of this presentation participants will be able to:
1. Classify and distinguish between the most common ways patients/families use miracle language
2. Describe the ethical tensions that emerge when families request that clinicians continue non-beneficial care in the hopes a miracle will occur
3. Identify a set of strategies for productively engaging with patients/families who expect miracles