Annual Lehman Medical Ethics Lecture To Explore “Healing Skills in Healthcare”

Feb. 24, 2012 — Larry R. Churchill, the Ann Geddes Stahlman Chair of Medical Ethics at Vanderbilt University, will present a free public lecture titled “Healing Skills in Healthcare: A Study of Provider and Patient Relationships” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 29, in Quigley Auditorium at Allegheny College. The presentation is part of the college’s Lehman Medical Ethics Lecture Series.

Churchill, who joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2002, also holds appointments in the Vanderbilt Divinity School and in the Department of Philosophy. Prior to Vanderbilt, he was professor of social medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was honored for excellence in the teaching of medical students.

A graduate of Rhodes College and Duke University, Churchill entered the field of medical ethics and humanities as a member of the first class of Fellows of the Institute for Human Values in Medicine.

He has published widely in several areas of medical ethics, including research with human subjects, end-of-life decision-making, and social justice and the ethics of U.S. health policy. His major works include “Professional Ethics and Primary Care Medicine,” “Rationing Health Care in America,” “Self-Interest and Universal Health Care” and “Ethical Dimensions of Health Policy.”

Churchill is co-editor and contributor to the widely used textbook that relates the humanities and social sciences to medicine and health care, “The Social Medicine Reader.”

In addition to his work on ethics and health policy, Churchill´s current research is focused in three areas. Since 1995 he has been involved with successive projects funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute on informed consent and gene transfer research. A separate project is concerned with the challenges of genetic screening and testing for human self-understanding and the role of religion/spirituality in interpreting genetics knowledge in clinical settings. The third major area of his research is an empirical investigation of the qualities that promote “healing relationships” in medicine and health care, and the translation of relational healing skills into medical education.

The Lehman Medical Ethics Lecture Series is made possible by a gift from Allegheny College alumnus and retired orthopedic surgeon John W. Lehman, M.D., class of 1954, and his wife, Deborah. In addition, the Lehmans are helping to fund a four-credit class in medical ethics at Allegheny College.