Dr Liz Dzeng from UCSF giving a seminar at King’s next Tuesday July 12th: ““Communication Pathologies in Do-Not-Resuscitate Discussions at the End of Life:”

When: 3:30pm Tuesday the 12th of July
Where: Room 3.1.1, East Wing King’s Building

In the next session of the Work in Progress (WiPs) seminar series Elizabeth (Liz) Dzeng, MD, PhD, MPH (http://profiles.ucsf.edu/elizabeth.dzeng) will present her paper:

“Communication Pathologies in Do-Not-Resuscitate Discussions at the End of Life: The Unintended Consequences of an Ideology of Patient Choice”

Abstract: The focus on patient autonomy in American medicine today highlights the importance of freedom and choice for patients make their own decisions. However, to truly honour patient autonomy, patients must adequately understand their situation and choices. Fifty-eight semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with internal medicine physicians at three hospitals in the US and one in the UK. I observed that two hospitals had policies that prioritized patient autonomy whereas the other two hospitals had policies that prioritized making decisions in the patient’s best interest. Particularly at hospitals where autonomy was prioritized, trainee physicians equated autonomy with giving a menu of choices. They were uncomfortable giving a recommendation based on clinical knowledge as they worried that that would infringe patient autonomy.


Liz is Assistant Professor at UCSF in the Division of Hospital Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences, Sociology program. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the King’s College London Cicely Saunders Institute. She completed her PhD in Medical Sociology at the University of Cambridge at King’s College as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and a General Internal Medicine Post-Doctoral Clinical Research Fellow and Palliative Care Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Liz has published several opinion pieces for the Guardian, Wired UK, Huffington Post. You can find out more about her research and public engagement activities here:


Reminder: these seminars are part of the SSHM BIOS+ Research Group events and offer the opportunity to the members of the Department to discuss drafts of their work-in-progress and receive helpful feedback from colleagues before submission or before a presentation. The aim is to bring together the researchers in the Department and provide a locus for sharing expertise and knowledge in an informal setting. Junior researchers, and members of the BIOS + group, are especially encouraged to present and attend.

If you wish to attend please email Giulia Cavaliere (giulia.cavaliere@kcl.ac.uk), the convenor of the WiP seminar series, to ask for the draft of the paper.

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