The Philip Littman Memorial Fund
for Medical Ethics
Created to commemorate the anniversary of her husband’s passing, Trish established the Philip Littman Memorial Fund for Medical Ethics in support of the MJHS Hospice Medical Ethics Program.
To My Dear Friends,
As I reflect on the fifth anniversary of the Philip Littman Memorial Fund for Medical Ethics at MJHS Hospice, I am grateful for the unwavering support of Phil’s friends and family – thank you. Over the past five years, this fund has helped Hospice ensure that its patients are awarded the end-of-life care they want and deserve with compassion, science, respect, integrity, cooperation, and concern for the larger context. During Phil’s illness we came to rely on this resource as we navigated the complexities of his illness. I am proud to continue his legacy by addressing an important part of hospice and palliative care: medical ethics at the end of life. I hope that you will join me again this year in supporting this worthy cause.
Many of the situations we discuss in the Ethics Committee concern “isolated patients” who cannot make their own care decisions, and have no friends, family, or designated agent to act on their behalf. This past year, the Ethics Committee reviewed 10 such cases, providing these patients with the dignity and respect they deserved during their end-of-life care.
One such patient was Ms. R, a 96-year-old woman living in a nursing home and suffering from dementia and a slowly progressing cancer. After experiencing a stroke, Mrs. R’s health quickly began to decline, and her doctors agreed that hospice would provide the best care. Without family or friends to advocate on her behalf, the nursing home staff contacted MJHS Hospice. There it was determined, through a multi-disciplinary ethics case review, that Mrs. R could benefit from hospice services. After being admitted, MJHS Hospice managed her symptoms from the comfort of her nursing home, provided spiritual care, and enabled her to die comfortably.
The Ethics Committee at MJHS Hospice helped ensure that the health care decisions were made in Mrs. R and Mr. D’s best interest. The Ethics Committee is an essential step in hospice care for unrepresented patients, some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
In addition, MJHS Hospice has developed a scholarship from the Philip Littman Memorial Fund for staff to attend programs which support medical ethics. With 16 scholarships awarded thus far, this expertise has allowed all staff more direct and informal discussions of questions and ethical complexities during their work at MJHS.
The MJHS Ethics Committee plans to continue our important work, but we can’t do this without your support. I hope you will consider making a gift today.
MJHS Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization. (Tax Id 11-1630753) All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.