January 26, 2001
Volume XXXIV, No. 4

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Visiting medical ethicist to deliver four lectures

Renowned medical ethicist Dr. Albert R. Jonsen will spend two days on campus Thursday and Friday, Feb. 1 and 2, as the Second Annual Salinger-Forland Visiting Scholar in Medical Ethics and the Humanities.

Dr. Jonsen is professor emeritus and former chairman of the department of medical history and ethics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He played an instrumental role in creating the field of contemporary medical ethics and revolutionized the broad field of ethics with his case-based methods.

Dr. Jonsen, who is the author of the book "The Abuse of Casuistry," has helped the field of ethics by resurrecting the concept of casuistry from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, said Dr. Henry Perkins, medicine/general medicine, of the university's Center for Ethics and the Humanities in Health Care. Casuistry is the resolving of issues of conscience, duty or conduct through interpretation of ethical principles.

"He outlines principles for considering ethical issues, including typification of cases by comparing them to standard paradigm cases, providing maxims or rules of thumb that are derived from experience, and using the concept of probable certitude to trigger actions when sufficient evidence is available," Dr. Perkins said.

Interested faculty, students and staff are welcome to attend Dr. Jonsen's lectures on campus focusing on three different topics. See the Grand Rounds Calendar below for a schedule of his lectures.