Conference to Focus on Health Care Ethics

Oct. 6, 2005

by Julie Carlson

Baylor University's Institute for Faith and Learning will sponsor a conference that examines health care ethics issues that are frequently faced by doctors, nurses and health care administrators. The conference, which runs Oct. 13-15, will feature prominent experts in medical and health care ethics with credentials in law, medicine, philosophy and theology.

The conference is part of Baylor Horizons, an initiative funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and aimed at fostering a deeper theological understanding of vocation as God's summons to a life of service.

The conference will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday with an opening banquet and keynote lecture titled "Can Medicine Survive Medical Ethics" delivered by Dr. David Solomon, the W. P. and H. B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture and associate professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

Solomon, a 1964 Baylor graduate, has served as director of the annual Notre Dame Conference on Medical Ethics since 1986 and is the author of "Abortion and Public Policy." His ethics articles have been published regularly in scholarly journals and in journals of public opinion, and he has appeared on television as an ethics expert for such nationally syndicated PBS programs as "The Firing Line" and "Today's Life Choices."

A series of breakout and plenary sessions will be held Friday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Topics to be addressed include Free Clinics, Parish-Based Practice, and Alternative Health Care; Justice, Medicine, and the Market; Family and Patient Autonomy in Health Care Decision Making; and Christian Resources for Health Care Ethics.

A keynote banquet and lecture will be held Friday night and will feature Robert P. George speaking on "The Embryo Question."

The McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, George is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1993-98. He is the author of "Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality"; "In Defense of Natural Law"; and "The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis."

The conference will conclude Saturday after sessions on "Responding to Physician Error" and "Facing Death: Futility and Its Alternatives."

The keynote addresses will take place on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Building. Breakout sessions will take place at the Baylor Sciences Building.

For more information, call (254) 710-4805 or visit www.baylor.edu/IFL .

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