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Feb. 24 Medical Center Hour Addresses End of Life Issues Through Drama

February 23, 2011 — "End of Life," an interactive exploration of suffering and compassion, is the focus of a special Medical Center Hour on Feb. 24 at the University of Virginia.

The program will include readings from ancient Greek tragedy as a catalyst for open discussion of the challenges faced by persons who work in palliative care, hospice, geriatrics, nursing, chaplaincy, give care or face issues of the end of life with family members. The moderator is Bryan Doerries of Theater of War Productions, New York.

The event will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in Fenwick Auditorium in McLeod Hall. It is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the garage beneath McLeod Hall.

"End of Life" is a John F. Anderson Memorial Lecture co-presented by U.Va.'s Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life and the School of Nursing's Compassionate Care Initiative.

On Friday, about 250 third-year medical and nursing students will see a program called "Witnessing Suffering" and participate in interprofessional teams of faculty and students to explore what it means to witness suffering and identify skills and strategies for being "compassionately present," said Marcia Childress of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities in the School of Medicine.

"U.Va.is the first medical or nursing school to include end-of-life as a part of its mainstream, required curriculum," she said.

For information call 434-924-5974.

— By Jane Ford

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