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New ethics professor is an ophthalmologist (10/1/97)

Joe R. McFarlane, MD, JD, has been appointed ethics professor in the department of ophthalmology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

"After a number of years in the ophthalmology department as a clinical professor, I was honored to be asked to become the first ethics professor," says Dr. McFarlane. "In this day and age where the fee-for- service system is in the process of being supplanted by managed care, there are certain inherent ethical conflicts because the doctor may no longer be concerned solely with the welfare of the patient but the financial success of managed care organizations. I hope to be able to provide ethics teaching to the residents."

Dr. McFarlane has served with distinction on many committees and policy making bodies of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, including the Practicing Ophthalmologists Advisory Committee for Education, the Inter- Specialty and Allied Health Education Committee, and the Council Executive Committee.

"My background in ophthalmology private practice and as an attorney in health care law should allow me to provide input not only into the ethical practice of medicine, but also how various federal and state laws will affect the physician who practices unethically," says Dr. McFarlane.

He is on the board of directors of the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co., the Academy of Ophthalmology's insurer for medical malpractice, and is chairman-elect of the Academy's insurance committee.

Dr. McFarlane's projects include securing additional funding for the Hogan Professorship in Ethics and Ophthalmology. To date, approximately $350,000 has been donated by Kitty and Rugeley Ferguson and other friends of Dr. Thomas Hogan. Once the goal of one million dollars is met, a full-time professor will be appointed.

Dr. McFarlane earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Baylor College of Medicine at Houston and a law degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

He is available for consultation on ethical problems regarding patient care.

Contact: Myong Covert (210) 567-2570