As medical science develops health care treatment that may extend our lives even longer, ethical and legal issues arise with regard to patient autonomy in opting for particular treatment and in selecting a surrogate to make health care decisions if the patient were unable to due to incapacity or incompetency. Cultural beliefs influence whether a person may be willing to engage in advance planning and what types of plans may be deemed appropriate. Culture also affects how decisions about end-of-life health care treatment are made by a patient or a surrogate.
Professor Carol Suzuki of the University of New Mexico School of Law will discuss ways in which culture shapes end-of-life health care planning, with a particular focus on comparing cultural groups in the United States and in Japan. She will provide an overview of advance planning laws and guidelines in the United States and in Japan. She will advocate that in order for advance health care planning to meet a person’s treatment goals, consideration should be given to cultural values to ensure appropriate counseling about both planning and decision-making.
Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Law
Carol Suzuki is a tenured Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Law in Albuquerque. She teaches in the clinical law program, which is a course required for graduation from UNM law school. Clinic law students represent low-income clients on matters including access to health care, family law, juvenile delinquency, and immigration. Her lecture and seminar courses include Torts, Bioethics, and AIDS and the Law. Her scholarly interests focus on the intersection of law and social and medical science.
(For more information visit http://lawschool.unm.edu/faculty/suzuki/index.php)