Posted by William Nunnelley on 2009-04-07

Samford University's Healthcare Ethics and Law Institute (HEAL) will focus on "The Intersection of Faith and Ethics in Health Care" during its annual conference Friday, April 17, at Samford. The conference will meet in Brock Forum of Dwight Beeson Hall from 8:25 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Visiting speakers are Dr. Daniel P. Sulmasy, holder of the Sisters of Charity Chair in Ethics at St. Vincent's Hospital, Manhattan, N.Y., and professor of medicine and director of the Bioethics Institute of New York Medical College, and Dr. Karen Lebacqz, professor emerita of theological ethics at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Calif.

Dr. Sulmasy, who holds a medical degree from Cornell University and Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University, will speak on "The Numinous, the Medical and the Moral" at 8:30 a.m. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. 

Dr. Lebacqz, a faculty member at Pacific School of Religion since 1972, will speak on "The Fine Edge between Light and Shadow: Spirituality, Illness and Dignity" at 9:45 a.m. A graduate of Wellesley College with a Ph.D. from Harvard University, she has written extensively on professional ethics, bioethics and ethical theory.

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. Dr. Pellegrino often is called the "father of the American bioethics movement."

The HEAL conference–sponsored by Samford's McWhorter School of Pharmacy–is designed to help Alabama institutional ethics committees of all levels with some of today's most pressing healthcare ethics and law issues and problems. Registration is open to committee members, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, chaplains, administrators and others interested in ethical decision making in health care.

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.

Samford University faculty involved in breakout sessions are Dr. Dennis Sansom, chair, philosophy department; Professor Jack Nelson, Cumberland School of Law; Dr. Wilton Bunch, philosophy professor; and Bateman, HEAL program manager.

Dr. John Knapp, director of the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership in Samford's Brock School of Business, will speak on "Self-Deception, Medical Practice and the Eclipse of Spirituality" at 1:30 p.m.

Professor Bruce D. White, HEAL director, will speak on "Justice: Bedside Clinical Ethics' Next Great Challenge" at 2:30 p.m. He will lead a group discussion and provide closing comments and evaluation at the end of the program.

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.