Posted by William Nunnelley on 2007-04-03

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-Samford University's Healthcare Ethics and Law Institute (HEAL) will hold its 2007 conference Friday, April 13, at Samford. The theme will be "Struggling with Improving Bedside End-of-Life Care: Is Talking About Medical Futility Futile?"

Speakers will include George J. Annas, the Edward R. Utley Professor and chair of the Department of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights at Boston University School of Public Health; Amy Marie Haddad, director of the Center for Health Policy and Ethics and the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Endowed Chair in Health Sciences at Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.; and Dr. Lawrence J. Schneiderman, professor emeritus in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and adjunct professor in the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego.

The speakers will receive Pellegrino Medals for their contributions to healthcare ethics. The medal is named for Edmund D. Pellegrino, the first recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Called the "father of the American bioethics movement," Pellegrino also received the first award bearing his name from the HEAL Institute in 2001.

The HEAL conference–sponsored by Samford's McWhorter School of Pharmacy–is designed to help health-care organizational ethics committee members better understand today's most pressing health-care ethics and law issues and problems. Registration is open to committee members, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, chaplains, administrators and others involved in end-of-life care for patients who lack decision-making capacity.

For registration information, contact Lori Bateman, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Samford University at email address or telephone (205) 726-2820. Continuing education credit is available. The program will run from 8:20 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in Brock Forum of Dwight Beeson Hall at Samford.

Professor Annas, the author of 16 books on health law and bioethics, will speak on "Bioethics, Politics and the Culture of Death': Patient Rights, Medical Futility and Pain" at 9 a.m. Dr. Schneiderman, author of more than 160 medical and scientific articles, will discuss "Medical Futility: Where Do We Stand?" at 10 a.m. Dr. Haddad, author of The Health Professional and Patient Interaction and other books, will talk on "Insights from Tarot about Futility Decisions: The Hanged Man" at 12:45 p.m.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.