SPOKANE – “No one likes to think about dying, yet the event is inevitable. Making our wishes known about care in our final months of life can be one of the most meaningful and challenging things we will ever do,” said Dr. Patrick M. Dunn, the 2008 Robert F.E. Stier Memorial Lecture in Medicine presenter.

“Making Our Treatment Wishes Known” is the topic of this year’s WSU Spokane Robert F.E. Stier Memorial Lecture in Medicine presented by Dunn, MD, FACP, director of Ethics Education and assistant director at the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).

The Area Health Education Center of Eastern Washington, WSU Extension and the Spokane Society of Internal Medicine offer this free public lecture at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 29 in the Academic Center Auditorium on the Riverpoint Campus, 600 N. Riverpoint Boulevard, Spokane.

Dunn, who has extensive interest and influence in clinical ethics throughout Oregon and the nation, will explore with attendees the forces shaping complex decision making at the end of life, how we can make our treatment wishes known and make sure our wishes are followed. Discover how helpful tools, like advance directives, can guide the care of those who are dying.

“Sharing wishes with loved ones helps make sure our wishes are respected and provides direction to family and doctors when the need arises,” Dunn said. “Unfortunately, many do not share their wishes, leaving family to make their best guess about their loved one’s treatment. This is stressful for families and may not provide the care desired,” Dunn said.

Dunn co-founded the Clinical Ethics Program at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in the early 1980s. He chairs multiple task forces including the National Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm Initiative and the Task Force to Improve the Care of Terminally Ill Oregonians. He also chairs the Oregon POLST Task Force which has become a model nationally for implementing portable physician orders for end-of-life care to honor patient preferences for medically indicated treatments. Dunn continues to facilitate improvements in end-of-life care through interprofessional curriculum development and teaching at OHSU.

Before the public lecture, Dunn will present, “Ethical Challenges in the Final Months of Life: Tools for the Practicing Physician,” to area health care professionals at the 59th annual Spokane Society of Internal Medicine Conference at the Spokane Convention Center. Registration is required. For more conference information call 509-468-0236.

RSVP for the public lecture by Feb. 21 to the AHEC of E. WA at 509-358-7640 or ahec@wsu.edu.

About the Robert F.E. Stier Memorial Lectures in Medicine
The Stier Lectures are coordinated by the Area Health Education Center of Eastern Washington, a unit of WSU Extension at WSU Spokane. The lectures are funded by an endowment established by Alton R. Stier, M.D., and Robert A. (Bud) Stier, M.D., in honor of their late father.

The series features annual presentations from key leaders in medicine who represent the current state of the art and science, and whose works have increased professional and public understanding of new technologies and challenging issues. The lectures serve the medical profession and the public to increase dialogue and stimulate interaction around innovative ideas and biomedical technologies.

About the Spokane Society of Internal Medicine
The Spokane Society of Internal Medicine is an association of physicians practicing internal medicine and its sub-specialties in Spokane and the surrounding area. The Society was founded in 1959 and has been active both on an educational level as well as politically within the region.