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.
March 10, 2021
As we mark the 5th anniversary of Phil’s passing, I wonder what he would think about the pandemic and its effects on our current healthcare system. He was so passionate about caring for those in need, alleviating suffering and working to make the world a better place – tikkun olam! The Philip Littman Memorial Fund continues 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 this year in supporting this worthy cause.
More than ever before, this pandemic has confronted us with questions about mortality and circumstances around compassionate terminal care. We ideally envision being surrounded by loved ones, but not everyone is so fortunate. Working with direct service staff, the MJHS ethics committee has responded to these issues. During the past year, this group facilitated admission into hospice services of several unrepresented patients– those who cannot make their own decisions, and have no friends or family to make decisions for them. We also consulted on questions about surrogate decision-maker confidentiality, minor tensions between patient and family preferences, and truthfulness. The committee is currently navigating two complex cases helping families and clinicians think through competing ethical obligations in an attempt to balance honoring patient/family preferences with preventing harm.
All of these conversations are important in honoring the values of the patient, but I found myself especially proud to be a part of this committee when we began a conversation on structural racism and hospice care. This is a topic that would have been near and dear to Phil’s heart.
There is no better way to honor his legacy and the 5th anniversary of his passing than with a gift to the Philip Littman Memorial Fund for medical ethics at MJHS. Your support makes this critical work possible, and I — along with so many patients, families and community members — are grateful for this resource.
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.