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Physician assisted suicide topic for next DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy

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Posted on March 20, 2017

Two doctors who are national experts on physician assisted suicide will give presentations on the subject during the DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy on Monday, March 27.

"The Ethics of Physician Assisted Suicide" will run from 6-8 p.m. in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences. The event is free and open to the public; RSVP online at

Speakers are Dr. Robert Arnold, professor of internal medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Bioethics and Health Law; and Dr. Timothy Quill, professor of medicine, psychiatry and medical humanities at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. The moderator is Paul Reitemeier, corporate director of clinical ethics for Beaumont Health and former Grand Valley professor.

Arnold has extensively published articles on end-of-life care, hospice and palliative care, doctor-patient communication and ethics education. He is currently working with the UPMC Health System to develop system-wide, integrative palliative services. He is the past-president of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities as well as the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Quill was the lead physician plaintiff in a 1997 Supreme Court case (Quill v. Vacco) that challenged a New York law prohibiting physician-assisted death. He has focused work on doctor-patient relationships, including delivering bad news and exploring last-resort options. He is the author of "Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care and Patient Choice," "Caring for Patients at the End of Life," and "A Midwife Through the Dying Process." 

The DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy is held twice per year and hosted by Grand Valley's Office of the Vice Provost for Health. Grand Valley began hosting this series in 2015, after receiving a gift from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.