Kenneth Prager, M.D.,
Professor of Medicine, Director of Medical Ethics, and Chair of the Medical Ethics Committee at Columbia University Medical Center.
"Emerging End of Life Ethical Issues in Clinical Practice",
Medical technology and changing societal values are presenting physicians, patients, and families with increasingly complex ethical conundrums. At one extreme, technology can make it harder for hopelessly ill, actively dying patients to pass away peacefully when families and/or patients want “everything done.” At the other extreme, advocates for physician assisted suicide—or medical aid in dying, depending on one’s point of view—have succeeded in making PAS legal in 7 states. Euthanasia is legal in Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, and Colombia, and unofficially so in Switzerland. Dr. Prager will briefly review the evolution of increasing patient autonomy over the manner and timing of death in the US and present a case in contrast where family insistence on continued life support raised questions about the definition of death.
Tuesday Talks are scheduled in Faculty House on the Morningside campus on alternate Tuesdays during the academic year. EPIC members, faculty, and invited guests speak on topics that range across the academic spectrum and also address issues of particular importance to the retired academic community. Participants can continue their discussion at lunch in the Faculty House Dining Room at a special reduced rate for EPIC members. Guests are welcome.