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End of Life Ethics Guest Lecture Held at St Mary’s

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End of Life Ethics Guest Lecture Held at St Mary’s

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The Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies (CBET) at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham recently welcomed leading US bioethicist, Prof Gerard Magill (Chair of Healthcare Ethics at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh), to deliver a guest lecture at its Strawberry Hill campus. The visit on Monday 20th January followed Prof Magill meeting Dr Trevor Stammers (St Mary’s Programme Director in Bioethics and Medical Law) at the Third Cambridge Consortium for Bioethics Education in Paris in 2013, at which both of them were speakers. Prof Magill’s lecture, which formed part of St Mary’s MA Bioethics and Medical Law module ‘End of Life Ethics’, explored the Terri Schiavo case, a legal struggle between Terri’s parents and her husband over the decision to withdraw her feeding tube. During the talk, Prof Magill elegantly demonstrated how Catholic perspectives on the withdrawal of assisted nutrition and hydration actually shape the contours of almost every aspect of current secular debate on this topic. He also shared with students his insight into future trends in bioethics and gave some helpful careers advice in the field, as well as meeting individually with Leonora Butau, a current CBET PhD student, who shares a research interest with one of Prof Magill’s students. Following the visit, Prof Magill said, “It has been a delight to visit St Mary’s to explore reciprocal interests in bioethics that I can take back to our Centre for Healthcare Ethics at Duquesne University. “Our shared Judeo-Christian perspectives on bioethics provide a robust contribution to secular discourse in this fast-changing interdisciplinary field. Also, the MA and doctoral programmes in our institutions will benefit significantly from our shared approaches.” As well as founding the first ever department of clinical bioethics in the US in 1996, Prof Magill has subsequently been influential in Duquesne now being one of the top 100 US universities for research. He shared the outline of his revolutionary way of incentivising research at a lunchtime research seminar, where he had the chance to meet staff and students from outside the MA Bioethics and Medical Law programme. Prof Gerard Magill profile Prof Gerard Magill  
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