November 10, 2008
Vol. 28 No. 4

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    Siegler’s pioneering efforts focus of medical ethics conference

    By John Easton
    Medical Center Communications

    Mark Siegler

    Mark Siegler, the Lindy Bergman Distinguished Service Professor in Medicine and founder and Director of MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, will be the focus of its 20th annual conference.

    Participants will examine Siegler’s work and influence on the field in a traditional European “festschrift,” in which a scholar’s colleagues and trainees honor him with a discussion of his work—in this case, the intellectual contributions to clinical ethics and the study of the doctor-patient relationship.

    The conference is organized around 16 of Siegler’s writings on aspects of these topics and will be held Friday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Law School, 1111 E. 60th St.

    Siegler has written and spoken extensively on decision-making in complex medical situations, such as intensive care, end-of-life decision-making and living-donor organ transplantation. These stressful situations serve as “clinical probes,” he said. “They can help us understand the process by which patients and doctors reach everyday decisions.”

    Siegler founded the MacLean Center in 1984, and it quickly became the country’s leading center for teaching clinicians about patient-centered medical ethics. Since its beginning, nearly 250 fellows—most of them physicians, but also nurses, legal scholars, theologians and philosophers—have trained there in a one- or two-year fellowship program.

    Former MacLean fellows, including those who will speak at the conference, have published more than 60 books in the field. More than 30 have directed ethics programs in hospitals and research centers in the United States, Canada and Europe. More than 25 are full professors at leading academic institutions, and about a dozen hold endowed university professorships.

    The conference is free, and registration may be completed at http://ethics.bsd.uchicago.edu/events/2008conference. For more information, contact Emily Goldman at egoldman@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu or (773) 834-3439.