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Lecture in honor of Myles N. Brand Nov. 9

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George P. Smith II, a visiting fellow at Indiana University's Center for Law, Ethics, and Applied Research in Health Information, will deliver the center's first public lecture in tribute to his late friend, former IU President Myles N. Brand.

The lecture, "Managing End-of-Life Care: Medico-Legal, Social, Ethical, and Philosophical Challenges," is at 4 p.m. Nov. 9 at Indiana University Maurer School of Law's Moot Court Room.

Smith, a professor at The Catholic University of America Law School and CLEAR's first-ever visiting fellow, has devoted significant time throughout his career to the subject of palliative care. His lecture will analyze the two foundational challenges to human health care at the end-stage of life: the extent to which a patient with a terminal illness can control his or her treatment options, and the level of state control and intervention in the dying process.

"The topics of death and of dying are a popular concern," Smith said. "There will never be one, unified national consensus on the extent to which the state should protect the dying and allow its members to die a 'good death' without unnecessary suffering and with compassion."

Smith cites a 2006 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center that found an overwhelming majority that supports laws giving patients the right to decide whether they wish to be kept alive through medical treatment at the end-stage of life.

"This finding serves to buttress the conclusion that personal autonomy, and the right to refuse any or all treatment, is a constitutional liberty of high order," Smith said. "It is the responsibility of the state to safeguard and protect this liberty."

Smith is dedicating the CLEAR lecture in honor of Brand, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2009.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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