Ryan Bioethicist in Residence | School of Law | SIU

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Ryan Bioethicist in Residence

The John and Marsha Ryan Bioethicist in Residence was established in 2006 to fund an annual residence and lecture by a law and/or medicine ethics scholar at the School of Law and School of Medicine at Southern Illinois University.

Each year, a leading bioethics scholar will present a public lecture on his or her scholarship, as it relates to law and medicine, at the law school in Carbondale and will present to students and faculty at the medical school in Springfield.  The bioethics scholar will also provide a presentation to the joint bioethics committees at Southern Illinois Healthcare.

past programs


2020 Ryan Bioethicist

Dr. Pope

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, Ph.D.

February 26-28, 2020

February 26, 2020 at 5 p.m.
Public lecture in Carbondale

Medical Aid in Dying: Assessing the Illinois Patient Choices at End of Life Act

Nearly 110,000 Illinoisans die every year. Many of these patients want control over the timing and manner of their death. Indeed, terminally ill patients in Illinois already have and use several legal “exit options.” But they generally do not have access to medical aid in dying (MAID). This may soon change. Across the country, access to MAID has been in a rapid state of flux. Ten years ago, MAID was available in only two U.S. jurisdictions. Today, it is available in ten. This presentation reviews the history, status, and prevalence of MAID in the United States. It also summarizes new points of ethical debate over whether traditional eligibility requirements and safeguards are too permissive or too restrictive. 


Lecture is free and open to the public

See the invitation here


Thaddeus Mason Pope is a foremost expert on medical law and clinical ethics. He maintains a special focus on patient rights and healthcare decision-making.

Pope is Director of the Health Law Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. While he serves in a range of consulting capacities, Pope has been particularly influential through his extensive, high-impact scholarship. Ranked among the Top 20 most cited health law scholars in the United States, Professor Pope has over 220 publications in leading medical journals, bioethics journals, and law reviews. He coauthors the definitive treatise The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking, and he runs the Medical Futility Blog (with over four million page-views).