Tuesday, January 22nd LIFE AND DEATH: BIOETHICS IN 2008

When complex illness forces patients, family members and caregivers to confront difficult options under great stress, bioethicists play a prominent, expanding role in facilitating resolution.  One unusual approach is using specially trained Bioethics Mediators.     

Four experienced panelists offer behind-the-scenes views of how one bioethics mediation team handles converging medical, legal, and emotional factors of thorny dilemmas like these:

~  an advanced Alzheimer’s patient never wanted to be dependent on artificial life-sustaining methods.  Can his family withhold them?

~ religious strictures lead a patient to resist recommended treatments.  What is the health care provider’s responsibility?

~ the parents of a young woman with a life-threatening illness can’t agree on a course of immediate treatment.  How can they be helped towards a decision?

~  a cancer patient hasn’t responded to standard treatments.  An experimental drug promises better results but is unproven.  Can the patient and family make an informed choice?

~  the family of a terminally ill patient doesn’t grasp doctors’ repeated explanations and keeps asking the same questions repeatedly.  Who can help them understand?


The panelists are

  • Nancy Dubler, LLB, Professor of Bioethics & Director, Division of Bioethics, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Gary Kalkut, MD, Vice President & Senior Medical Director, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Carol B. Liebman, Clinical Professor, Columbia Law School; co-author “Bioethics Mediation” (2004); Director, Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic 
  • Lynn Richmond, NP, Director of Clinical Affairs, Montefiore Medical Center
                    Note: In 1978, Montefiore Medical Center established a separate Bioethics Division and one of the nation’s first programs of  Certified Bioethics Mediation.

DATE: Tuesday, January 22, 2008

TIME: 6 pm to 8 pm  (doors open 5:45.  No reserved seats)

PLACE: Science Industry and Business Library

Madison Avenue between East 34 and East 35 Streets

ADMISSION: complimentary

RSVP: by January 18.       Carol Milano    milano@nasw.org

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