Date & Time

Tue, 04/26/2005


Our goal is to use the case of Terri Schiavo to draw out awareness, understanding, and discussion of the issues that surround end of life decision-making. Some of the questions that are likely to be considered include: What were her accurate diagnosis, prognosis, and possible treatments? How should we determine the moral status of her condition? What were the judicial and political decisions? Where Do We Go From Here?


Lawrence M. Hinman and Michael Kalichman. “The Schiavo Case: What Can We Learn?” Voice of San Diego. April 25, 2005.

Michael Kalichman and Lawrence M. Hinman. “The Schiavo Case: Ethics and the End of Life.” North County Times. March 26 2005.


Larry Schneiderman
School of Medicine, UCSD

Lawrence J. Schneiderman, M.D., professor emeritus in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and adjunct professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, has had a distinguished career in medicine and ethics.

Founding co-chair of the University of California, San Diego Medical Center Ethics Committee, he has been an invited visiting scholar and visiting professor at institutions in the United States and abroad, and is a recipient of the Pellegrino Medal in medical ethics. He is presently a visiting scholar in the Program in Medicine and Human Values at the California Pacific Medical Center.

Schneiderman has written more than 170 medical and scientific publications, including The Practice of Preventive Health Care (Addison Wesley), Wrong Medicine: Doctor’s Patients and Futile Treatment (with Nancy S. Jecker, Ph.D.) (Johns Hopkins), and, Embracing Our Mortality: Hard Choices in an Age of Medical “Miracles” (Oxford).

Schneiderman is a fellow in the American College of Physicians and serves on the editorial board of the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. He conducts empirical research on end-of-life care, and provides ethics consultations and invited talks for a variety of audiences, including academics and practitioners in medicine, law and philosophy, as well as the lay public.

Ellen Waldman
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Prior to law school, Professor Waldman taught film and English at the American International School in Israel.

Following law school, Professor Waldman clerked for the Honorable Myron Bright of the Eighth Circuit in Fargo, North Dakota, and joined a litigation firm in Washington, D.C., specializing in insurance defense. While practicing in Washington, D.C., Professor Waldman received mediation training and subsequently was awarded a scholarship in 1990 to pursue an LL.M. in this area. While pursuing her LL.M. degree, she was a fellow at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy in Charlottesville, Virginia. The following year she served as a fellow at the medical ethics department at the University of Virginia Medical School and directed a grant awarded by the Virginia Institute for the Humanities to educate hospital staff and patients about patient rights and principles of biomedical ethics. Prior to law school, Professor Waldman taught film and English at the American International School in Israel. A member of the Thomas Jefferson faculty since 1992, Professor Waldman founded and supervises the school’s mediation program, which affords students an opportunity to mediate disputes in small claims court. Additionally, she directs a government-sponsored grant that provides for student exposure to Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques and mentoring within the ADR community. Professor Waldman speaks, trains and publishes in the areas of mediation and medical ethics.

Bryan Liang
California Western School of Law

J.D. Harvard University
M.D. Columbia University
Ph.D. University of Chicago [public policy] B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology [chemistry]

Professor Liang is a prolific scholar and an outstanding teacher who has authored or co-authored five books and over 300 articles on a range of health law and policy topics. He is well known for his policy work in the interface between law, medicine, economic incentive structures, public health, and patient safety, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia, Journal of Patient Safety, Hospital Physician, Survey of Anesthesiology, Quality and Safety in Health Care, Journal of Biolaw & Business, and the National Faculty of Core Content Review of Family Medicine. He also serves on several important law and policy bodies, including the American Bar Association Advisor for the National Conference on Commissioners of State Laws in Emergency Preparedness and Response, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health, the Board of Directors of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and as the Vice President of the Partnership for Safe Medicines. He does not have a high school diploma, which may explain a lot.

Professor Liang is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health, College of Health and Human Services, San Diego State University.

Charles F. von Gunten
San Diego Hospice

Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, FACP is the Provost, Center for Palliative Studies at San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care, a teaching and research affiliate of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, University of San Diego and San Diego State University.
He is also:

* an established investigator of the National Cancer Institute
* Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Palliative Medicine
* Chairman, Test Committee, Hospice & Palliative Medicine, American Board of Medical Specialties
* Director of the largest fellowship program in palliative medicine in the US
* Medical Director of the Doris A. Howell Service, a palliative care consultation service at UCSD Health Care
* An expert for the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) on developing hospital-based palliative care programs
* Immediate Past President of the American Association for Cancer Education

He was Co-principal of the Education for Physicians on Palliative and End-of-life Care (EPEC) Project and its revision for oncology, EPEC-Oncology based at Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL

He has been particularly interested in the integration of hospice and palliative care into academic medicine. He has published and spoken widely on the subjects of hospice, palliative medicine, and pain and symptom control.

Dr. von Gunten received a Bachelor of Arts Degree with honors from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island in 1978. He earned a PhD in Biochemistry and an MD degree with honors from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Denver, Colorado in 1988.

He subsequently pursued residency training in Internal Medicine followed by subspecialty training in Hematology/Oncology at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in Chicago.
He joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School until 1999 where he directed programs in hospice and palliative care, education and research.

He currently holds the academic rank of Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Diego where he is a member of the NIH-designated Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center and directs the palliative medicine consultation service.

Lisa Heikoff

Kaiser physician, leads hospital ethics committee.