Pitts lecture addresses elderly care issues
by Maggie Mullen
The 16th Annual Thomas A. Pitts Memorial Lectureship will be held Oct. 30 and 31 at the MUSC College of Health Professions.
This year’s theme, “The Graying of America: Challenges and
Controversies,” features eight speakers presenting thoughts in a
point-counterpoint format. Robert Sade, M.D., professor in the
Department of Surgery and chair of the lectureship planning committee,
pointed out that “This year’s Thomas Pitts Lectureship will meet or
exceed the very high standards set by previous lectureships. Notable
scholars such as Daniel Callahan, Yale Kamisar, William May, and
Timothy Quill will discuss topics at the top of the national political
and bioethics agendas: Rationing Health Care; Racial, Ethnic, and
Gender Health Care Disparities in the Elderly; Caring for Persons with
Advanced Dementia; and Physician Assisted Suicide.”
The agenda includes nearly every hot button on medical ethics argued in society, medicine and in the courts.
Rationing Health Care
We Ration Health Care for the Elderly?” by Daniel Callahan, Ph.D.,
co-founder and President Emeritus of The Hastings Center, Garrison, New
York. Callahan is the author or editor of 40 books, and currently
serves as director of the International Program. In addition, he is an
elected member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of
Racial, Ethic, and Gender Health Care Disparities in the Elderly
Rationing Health Care Ever Be Rational?” The counter argument will be
provided by William R. Hazzard, M.D. Hazzard is a professor of
gerontology and geriatric medicine at the University of Washington
School of Medicine. He is also chief of gerontology and line manager of
geriatrics and extended care service of the VA Puget Sound Health Care.
He has written extensively on topics in geriatrics and the physiology
Justice, Health Disparities and Care of the Elderly” will be presented
by Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, Ph.D., professor of health policy and
administration at the University of North Carolina. Dilworth-Anderson’s
research and publications have included both theoretically and
empirically-based topics on ethnic minority families. She currently
serves as president of the Gerontological Society of America.
Caring for Persons with Advanced Dementia
Equality in Health Care for the Elderly is Futile” will be argued by
Thomas P. Miller, J.D., resident fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute for Public Policy Research. Miller is a member of the
National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality, Department of Health & Human Services. He has served as an
economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and
Senior Health Economist of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S.
the Medical Covenant in Caring for Persons with Advanced Dementia: View
of a Medical Ethicist” will be provided by William F. May, Ph.D.,
Southern Methodist University. He has served on President Bush’s
President’s Commission on Bioethics and on President Clinton’s Task
Force on Health Care Reform.
Physician Assisted Suicide
Medical School’s Muriel Gillick, M.D., will contend with “The View of a
Geriatrician.” Gillick is a professor of ambulatory care and prevention
and director of the Harvard Geriatrics Fellowship Program. In
addition to publishing articles and writing books, she was previously
physician-in-chief at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged.
Should Assist Suicide When it is Appropriate,” is the argument
presented by Timothy E Quill, M.D. Quill is a professor of medicine and
director of the palliative care program at the University of Virginia.
He has published and lectured extensively on end-of-life
decision-making and is highly regarded nationally for his ongoing study
of palliative care and end-of-life issues.
will resume discussions and present their impressions and
clarifications on Saturday. Sade will moderate this presentation.
Kamisar, JD, will contend that “Physician Assisted Suicide Should Not
be Deemed a Constitutional Right Nor Be Legalized.” Kamisar is a
Clarence Darrow Distinguished University Professor of Law Emeritus at
the University of Michigan Law School. He is a nationally recognized
authority on constitutional law and criminal procedure.
This annual lectureship is named for Thomas Antley Pitts II, M.D.
(1893-1991), who served as an MUSC board member for 36 years, including
25 years as chairman. He left a substantial bequest to MUSC to endow a
series of lectures on medical ethics. The series has been held annually
For information or to register, visit http://www.values.musc.edu or call 792-0775.
Friday, Oct. 2, 2009