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SOPHIA Symposium:
 
"Ethics at the End of Life"
 
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"Ethics at the End of Life" is the first of the SOPHIA symposia that took place in 2009. It was hosted at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS, on January 30th through the 31st. Dr. John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy from Vanderbilt University, joined us as the workshop facilitator and keynote speaker.

holding handsDescription
PHOTOS - NEW
COMMENTS - NEW
Promotional Story
Readings
Program
Accommodations and Directions
Contact Information

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Description

This symposium, like all SOPHIA events, was a philosophical conversation, not a traditional academic conference. We hosted practitioners from outside the university, in this case people who work in a variety of areas concerning the end of life. Among such people were lawyers, nurses, hospice care workers, social workers, all in dialogue with scholars of philosophy, religion, and other fields of interest. The aim of the event was to apply the lessons of philosophy to the challenging situations that arise in life and for philosophers to learn from people for whom philosophical challenges arise in practice. In the case of this first event, Dr. Jo Ann O'Quin of the department of Social Work at the University of Mississippi applied successfully to make this event one which earned participants credit toward their continuing education requirements. The event was approved for .72 SWU's. For more information, email the workshop organizer, Dr. Eric Thomas Weber, here (etweber@olemiss.edu).

The event was hosted in historic Bryant Hall, which you can find here, and which you can see here. The registration and opening reception for the symposium began at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, January 30th. At the reception we offered wine, cheese, and light foods. The first symposium session on Friday night began at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday morning, the conversations ran from 9 am until approximately 3 p.m., with breaks and lunch, and followed by an option campus tour for those interested. You can download an initial draft of the program here.

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Promotional Story

On Monday, January 26th of 2009, Inside Ole Miss published the following promotional story in advance of the symposium. You can open a printable Adobe PDF file here.

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Readings

With Dr. Lachs as our guide in conversation, we addressed six short case study readings (averaging ~ 2 pages each). The readings discuss real ethical problems that have arisen in matters concerning the end of life. You can open each as a printable Adobe PDF file here:

"CPR in Hospice," Hastings Center Report, May-June 2003, p. 9.

"Deciding for the Patient," Hastings Center Report, Sept-Oct 2004, p. 12 - 13.

"It's Over, Debbie," JAMA 259, 1988, p. 272.

Eileen Amari-Vaught and Wayne Vaught's "Don't I Count?" Hastings Center Report, Mar/Apr 1997, p. 23 - 24.

Rebecca Dresser and Alan B. Astrow's "An Alert and Incompetent Self," Hastings Center Report, Jan/Feb 1998, p. 28 - 30.

Hale Freeland's "Whose 'Will' Should be Carried Out: Alzheimer's, Competency and Autonomy," Case study drafted for the SOPHIA "Ethics at the End of Life" symposium, January, 2009. (You can learn more about Mr. Freeland's Web site here before you meet him at the symposium).

For a list of Dr. Lachs's books available from Vanderbilt University Press, click here.

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Accommodations

SOPHIA secured a conference rate of $76 per night for our symposium participants at the Inn at Ole Miss. Please mention SOPHIA to get the special rate. Contact the Inn early to make sure you secure the rate (no longer relevant, since the event has passed). For directions to the Inn at Ole Miss, click here. For reservations, call 1.888-4UM-ROOM (1-888-486-7666) or visit their reservations Web site.

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Contact Information

If you have comments or questions about SOPHIA or about this particular event, you can direct them to Dr. Eric Thomas Weber, SOPHIA Treasurer and Program Organizer for "Ethics at the End of Life." You can contact him via email at etweber@olemiss.edu or by phone at 662.915.1336.

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