Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare

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Dr. Delaney introducing his next guest, a speaker talking about the ethics surrounding death and dying.

By: Liam Cuddy

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Niagara University’s newest program, Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare, is proving to be a success when it comes to furthering the students’ and faculties’ knowledge of real medical and healthcare dilemmas. Dr. James Delaney, professor of Philosophy and the Ostapenko Center’s endowed Director of Professional Ethics, has brought speakers and panels to NU in order to promote friendly discussion and debate.

“The goal is to create dialogue and foster understanding,” said Delaney. “I work with 13 other faculty members at Niagara University. Professors of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Religious Studies, Social Work, Criminal Justice, Psychology and so much more. We all collaborate to see if we can bring together a diverse set of people to come and create awareness of ethical challenges in medicine and healthcare. We want to educate and bring about discussion amongst all of the students and staff that are involved.

The program brings a variety of speakers to NU, ranging from anesthesiologists, to surgeons, to philosophers reflecting on death and so much more.

“We to get students to think about why these challenges are so important,” said Delaney. “How do you see them coming up in your career path? How will these challenges affect us both locally and globally? These are the type of things that I hope students take away from these discussions. It’s really an exercise in critical thinking.”

The program looks great on a resume, isn’t too demanding of a college students’ schedule and poses a threat to maintaining a high GPA because it is designed to work for the students. There is no penalty for dropping the course and students are encouraged to only go to discussions they are available to attend.

“We aren’t targeting any specific students or majors, we designed it this way on purpose,” said Delaney. “I think the issues that we discuss should be of interest to anybody. The hope was that by approaching it in broad strokes, we’d be able to attract any students, regardless of their major or minor.”

Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare has been a success so far and there is still room for more students to sign up. To sign up, or to get more information, contact Delaney at

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