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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 16, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 22
JHU Chapter of American Medical Students Association to Host Daylong Ethics Seminar

On Saturday, Feb. 21, the Johns Hopkins chapter of the American Medical Students Association will be hosting an ethics seminar for medical students titled Clinical Challenges: A Practical Seminar.

According to the student organizers, the event is designed to address subject areas that the group feels do not receive enough attention in medical schools' academic curricula. The format will be based on a case presentation and role playing to provide students with an interactive opportunity to practice dealing with challenging clinical situations.

The seminar will focus on areas that require special training in ethics and communication, such as end-of-life decision making, breaking bad news, addressing organ transplantation, cultural conflicts and issues at the beginning of life.

An opening address will present the philosophical and historical background of current standards of clinical ethics. The speaker is Benjamin Wilfond, head of the section on genetics and ethics in the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the NIH Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center and head of the bioethics research section in the medical genetics branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Following this lecture, participants will be divided into small group sessions to learn practical ethics and receive hands-on advice for particular situations.

Michael A. Williams, assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins with a joint appointment in Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine, will lead "Organ Transplantation Conversations." Williams is a core faculty member of the JHU Bioethics Institute and a faculty associate of the School of Nursing. He is co-chair of the JHH Ethics Committee and recently was named chair of the American Academy of Neurology's Ethics, Law and Humanities Committee.

"Issues at the End of Life/Withdrawal of Care" will be led by Peter Terry, professor of pulmonary medicine in the School of Medicine and past chair of the JHH Ethics Committee. Terry directs the ethics education program at the School of Medicine and also teaches ethics to the Department of Medicine house staff. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and in the School of Public Health.

The other group sessions will be "Issues at the Beginning of Life," led by Marilee Allen, professor of neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics; "Breaking Bad News to Families," led by Rita Mastroianni, clinical nurse specialist at JHH; and "Issues Involving Cultural Differences" (speaker to be announced).

The seminar will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Preclinical Teaching Building, East Baltimore campus. Registration is required. To sign up, and for more information, go to


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