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Preliminary Reflections on the Ethics of Disasters

Jan C. Heller, Ph.D., is System Director, Ethics and Theology, for Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit organization based in Seattle and extending across five states—from Anchorage, Alaska, through Washington and western Montana, Oregon, and to the San Fernando Valley, California. He is responsible for providing leadership in health care ethics throughout the system, and for its board and management staff. He plans and oversees the development of ethics programs that further the understanding of the ethical and theological foundations of health care, with a particular focus on corporate and social policies and decisions within the system. He also participates in regional, national and international forums that address clinical, organizational, and social issues in health care. Previously, Dr. Heller was the founding director of the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Saint Joseph’s Health System in Atlanta.
When Mar 05, 2007
from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Where Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library
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JAN C. HELLER, PH.D.

 

System Director, Ethics and Theology, Providence Health & Services, Seattle

Jan C. Heller, Ph.D., is System Director, Ethics and Theology, for Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit organization based in Seattle and extending across five states—from Anchorage, Alaska, through Washington and western Montana, Oregon, and to the San Fernando Valley, California. He is responsible for providing leadership in health care ethics throughout the system, and for its board and management staff. He plans and oversees the development of ethics programs that further the understanding of the ethical and theological foundations of health care, with a particular focus on corporate and social policies and decisions within the system. He also participates in regional, national and international forums that address clinical, organizational, and social issues in health care. Previously, Dr. Heller was the founding director of the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Saint Joseph’s Health System in Atlanta.

Dr. Heller holds an AB in Chemistry, cum laude, from the King's College and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He received his Ph.D. in Ethics and Society from Emory University. His doctoral dissertation, Human Genome Research and the Challenge of Contingent Future Persons, was published by Creighton University Press in 1996. A second volume, edited with Nick Fotion and titled Contingent Future Persons: On the Ethics of Deciding Who Will Live, or Not, in the Future, was published in 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers. With six other scholars, he has also authored a book that was published by Morehouse Publishing in 2000, titled Faithful Living, Faithful Dying: Anglican Reflections on End of Life Care. Aspen Publishers, Inc. published his fourth book in 2001. It is edited with Joseph E. Murphy and Mark E. Meaney and titled Guide to Professional Development in Compliance. He has also authored more than 35 book chapters and articles which appear in scholarly and popular journals.

Dr. Heller is a frequent speaker at conferences, schools, and religious and civic organizations throughout the United States, and regularly consults with hospitals and other public and private health care organizations on issues in biomedical ethics. He is a priest in the Episcopal Church, and recently served on the church’s Task Force on Ethics and the New Genetics. He lives on Bainbridge Island in the Puget Sound with his wife, Linda, and their daughter, Abigail, and enjoys sailing their Sabre 362, Olympic Mist, whenever he can get away.

Preliminary Reflections on the Ethics of Disasters

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Bioethicists and health care ethicists have only recently begun to consider the moral implications of disasters. Building on a distinction between ethics of disaster preparedness and ethics in disasters, this lecture primarily addresses the former, considering generally how disasters might be understood in moral terms. In particular, it traces the changing locations of moral agency in evolving approaches to disasters in the social sciences, and considers some implications of these for victims of disasters.