November 14, 2007 § 1 Comment
I apologize for the boring title; my imagination is rather limited in the early AM.
Last Thursday and Friday, I skipped my classes (a surprisingly delicious feeling) to attend the quarterly meeting of the President’s Council on Bioethics. For the most part, I sat with Sam in the back of the room (yes, Sam was contributing to the juvenile delinquency of a college student). We both had special reserved seats towards the front of the room, but they were oddly placed between pillars that were covered with mirrors, and it was a little strange to turn your head only slightly and be staring at yourself. I suppose it gave me a chance to practice my thoughtful look.
Anyway, the Council meeting convened on Thursday morning at 9AM sharp with a lecture by Arthur Frank from the University of Calgary regarding the healing professions and medicine. I enjoyed the background materials to this lecture much more than the lecture itself; however, I have a feeling my lack of enthusiasm had something to do with the incredibly weak coffee provided by the hotel. This session was followed by a lecture by John Hardt about the role of conscience in medical decision-making (for which the discussion could have been better, if it had not been for the aformentioned coffee. I think all Council members were hurting from this), and the discussion of a staff paper. The day closed with a presentation by Regina Herzlinger about consumer-driven health care.
On Friday, another staff paper was discussed and Dr. Alan Shewmon came from UCLA to present to us his now-famous “objection” to the definition of death as brain death. There was a great deal of argument over this objection.
Once I finish typing up my own notes/thoughts (~four pages of 1.5 spaced pages for each session already) I will try to post some of them.
Breakfast is the most exciting event of each day at the Council meeting for me. It is only then that I get the chance to spend a little leisurely time with the Council members, whom I admire very much indeed. On Thursday I ate with Sam and his friend Dr. Peter Lawler, and on Friday I had the pleasure of a one-on-one wonderful and fruitful chat about medical school, etc. with Dr. Paul McHugh. He has such an incredibly sunny personality, and is an example of what I would want to be as a doctor, always thinking the best of people. Once everyone else came to breakfast, I was graciously included in a conversation between Drs. McHugh, Foster, and Shewmon.
Later in the day, Dr. Hurlbut kindly spent some time advising me on future options. He really is an inspiring person.
Schoolwork then took over for the weekend and Monday, until last night when I indulged in my old “Trekkiness” and went to a limited showing of “Star Trek: The Menagerie” (a two-part episode of the original series) in the local theater. It was amazing! I had such a fun time being geeky like everyone else in the theater. Although I have to admit, it was a tad embarassing to start laughing out loud at some Trekkie joke only to realize that, while other people in the theater were laughing with me, my family was looking at me like I had two heads. Oh well.
Back to school now. Can’t put it off forever! :)