Medical Ethics and Palliative Care
James F. Bresnahan, SJ, Professor Emeritus, of Medical Humanities & Bioethics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, began the program at the behest of Dean James Eckenhoff, MD in 1977. He was a professor teaching law and ethics in a Catholic seminary, the Jesuit School of Theology in Chicago. Over the next three years he worked as a visiting lecturer with a committee of physicians to develop an elective course for 2nd year students involving a case presentation and ethics commentary, followed by small group discussions led by clinicians.
Beginning in 1980, Bresnahan began full time activity at the Medical School and launched an added activity in the clinical 3rd and 4th years, the "clerkship ethics seminars." He was also involved in the medical ethics consulting committee of Northwestern Memorial Hospital as well as in ethics rounds in the Intensive Care areas and the Geriatric Evaluation Service.
In 1988 with Professor Kathryn Montgomery's arrival to the program, Professor Bresnahan focused specially on supporting educational experiences with palliative care and hospice for medical students and residents and continued to write on this issue as well as to offer a seminar on good care of the dying until his retirement in June 2001. He then moved back to New England, to the Jesuit Community at Boston College where he remains active in supporting palliative care response to the needs of the dying. For a year (July 2002 to July 2003), he was an Adjunct Professor and educational consultant to the Palliative Care and Pain Medicine Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.
More information on Professor Bresnahan's work is available on his webpage: http://www2.bc.edu/~bresnaja/
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