OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Bioethics pioneer examines the two sides of the medical profession

04/27/2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A pioneer in ethics education in medicine will examine the “Two Sides of Professionalism in Medicine” in a lecture on Monday, May 10, at Oregon State University.

The free public lecture will begin at 4 p.m. in Kearney Hall Room 112, which is located on Campus Way near the corner of 14th Street. The event is sponsored by the Hundere Endowment in Religion and Culture.

In his lecture, George J. Agich will argue that it is essential to examine closely the tension that exists between medicine as a profession that is conducted for the benefit of its practitioners, and medicine as a profession that functions primarily to serve the interests of patients.

Agich believes the failure to recognize the dual nature of professionalism in medicine obscures important ethical features. Rather than contrast the business side of health care and isolate it from medical ethics, he says, a robust professional ethic should address the important systemic ethical challenges associated with understanding medicine as a profession that serves the interests of patients and professionals alike.

Agich is a professor of philosophy and senior research fellow at Bowling Green State University, where he directs the BG Experience, a program designed to help students examine their values.

He also serves as clinical professor of medicine at Ohio State University School of Medicine. Agich was founding director of the medical ethics program at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and is a pioneer in clinical ethics and ethics education in medicine. He has written four books and more than 120 articles on a range of topics in bioethics.

He is also co-founder of the International Conference on Clinical Ethics and Consultation Series, which is being held in Portland on May 11-14.