Bioethics Mediation: A Guide to Shaping Shared Solutions, Revised and Expanded Edition

By Nancy N. Dubler and Carol B. Liebman

{Vanderbilt University Press: 2011}

Fall 2011

Professor Carol B. Liebman and Nancy N. Dubler address the contentious and often wrenching questions concerning end-of-life medical care in their recent book Bioethics Mediation: A Guide to Shaping Shared Solutions, Revised and Expanded Edition. The authors argue that mediation can play a crucial rule in helping patients, relatives, and doctors make decisions in such matters of life and death.

This revised and expanded version of the original 2004 edition spells out strategies medical professionals can use to manage conflict and help patients. It also offers case studies, annotated mediation transcripts, and analysis of bioethics issues. The case studies and role-plays present issues such as how to communicate with a dying adolescent, what and when to tell an anxious pregnant patient about a potential complication, and whether parents will authorize a DNR (do not resuscitate) order for their unconscious son.

“So often, there are breakdowns in communication between the medical staff and families, or within the medical team that isolate patients and their loved ones at a time of crisis, when they most need to be supported and validated,” Liebman said in an interview following the book’s release this past summer. “Mediation allows all parties to agree on a treatment plan that honors the values and wishes of the patient, levels the planning field for family members, and is medically and ethically appropriate.”