Ethics of Schiavo case at issue in panel discussion

A panel of experts in the fields of law, philosophy and bioethics will discuss the implications of the Terri Schiavo case at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives at Bates College, 70 Campus Ave.

The discussion is titled “The Schiavo Case: A New Paradigm for End of Life Care?” Sponsored by the Maine Bioethics Network, the Bioethics Project at the University of Southern Maine, and the Bates Department of Philosophy and Religion, the event is open to the public at no charge. Refreshments will be served.

The panelists: Frank Chessa, assistant professor in the Bates philosophy and religion department, and clinical ethics consultant at Maine Medical Center; Professor Ron Morrison of the Bioethics Center, University of New England; Stacey Mondschein, of Hallowell, an attorney and health law consultant; and moderator Julien Murphy, president of the Maine Bioethics Network and director of the USM Bioethics Project.

The Bioethics Project was established in 2000 to bring perspectives from the humanities and other disciplines to biotechnology and biomedicine. The project hosts the Maine Bioethics Network, a non-profit statewide organization of more than 200 ethicists, health care providers, chaplains, social workers and others interested in biomedical ethics.

Chessa, who has taught at Bates since 2001 and consulted at MMC since 2003, specializes in metaethics, health care ethics and environmental ethics. His recent articles and scholarly presentations include analyses of issues in end-of-life care. He is a member of the USM Bioethics Project board.

Mondschein, who recently moved to Maine, previously served as a member of the in-house legal team at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, one of the nation’s largest public hospital systems. She provided all manner of legal, bioethical, regulatory and policy guidance to the 11 acute-care hospitals and hundreds of other facilities in the HHC system. She focused on issues in patient care and privacy, end-of-life care and human-subject research. Mondschein now consults on health law issues.

Ron Morrison is professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of New England. He administers the university’s annual Crosley Lecture on Ethics, bringing distinguished scholars to UNE to address ethical issues in contemporary life.

Julien Murphy is founding director of the Bioethics Project and is a professor of philosophy at USM. She has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University and the University of Washington. She is the author of The Constructed Body: AIDS, Reproductive Technology and Ethics (SUNY Press, 1995). Murphy regularly teaches courses in bioethics at USM, lectures frequently on topics in clinical ethics for health care organizations and is a research ethics consultant.

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