Nov 252016
 November 25, 2016

Kenan Institute for Ethics Senior Fellow Dr. Farr Curlin will be a featured speaker at the 2017 Nancy Weaver Emerson Lectureship, where he’ll be part of a debate titled “Physician Aid-in-Dying: Within or Outside the Boundaries of Good Medicine?”

The event, free and open to the public, will begin at 5:45 p.m. April 25 at the Nasher Museum of Art.

Curlin, who also serves as the the Josiah C. Trent Professor of Medical Humanities, has co-authored more than 100 articles and book chapters dealing with the moral and spiritual dimensions of medical practice, including the recent essay “Why Physicians Should Oppose Assisted Suicide.” As a practicing palliative medicine physician, Curlin seeks to understand how to practice medicine ethically for patients who are dying.

In 2016 Colorado became the seventh state to provide a legal mechanism by which a physician may write a prescription for medications that a terminally ill patient may take to end the patient’s life. Efforts are underway in multiple other states to legalize this practice, described variously as “death with dignity,” “physician aidin-dying,” “physician-assisted death,” and “physician-assisted suicide.”

Joining Curlin is Dr. Timothy E. Quill, the Founding Director of the University of Rochester School of Medicine Palliative Care Program and the Acting Director of the school’s Paul M. Schyve Center for Bioethics. Quill has published and lectured widely about various aspects of the doctor-patient relationship, with  focus on end-of-life decision making, including exploring last resort options. He was the lead physician plaintiff in the New York State legal case challenging the law prohibiting physician-assisted death that was heard in 1997 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Quill v. Vacco).

As part of the 2017 Emerson Lecture, the two physicians, will debate whether physician aid-in-dying belongs as part of medical care. Quill will argue that it does, and Curlin will argue that it does not. After brief presentations, they will engage each other and members of the audience in a moderated discussion of this critical issue in contemporary healthcare.

For more information, see this flier.