Seminar Series – Ethical Principles in Action: Palliative Care and People Living with Serious Illness

Monday, Nov 25, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
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Johns Hopkins Hospital, Zayed 2117
1800 Orleans Street
Baltimore, MD 21287

Ethical Principles in Action: Palliative Care and People Living with Serious Illness
Diane Meier, MD, FACP, FAAHPM

The essential principles of medical ethics are respect for the personhood or autonomy of our patients and the twin obligations to do no harm and to serve the good of the patient (nonmalificenceand beneficence). The typically narrow focus on disease treatment that characterizes care of the seriously ill in the U.S. often fails to honor these principles. Palliative care is organized around understanding the patient as a person, helping the patient to articulate what is most important to them in the context of the realities of the illness, and then developing and implementing a care plan that meets those goals.

Dr. Diane E. Meier’s transformative contributions to the field of palliative care have permanently changed the landscape of mainstream American medicine. She is known as an organizational trailblazer, a pioneering clinician, an innovative medical educator, and an influential author, researcher, advocate, and thought leader.

As founder and director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC)—a national organization dedicated to increasing the number and quality of palliative care programs in the United States—Dr. Meier has put palliative care on the map. In the last ten years alone, the number of palliative care programs in U.S. hospitals has more than tripled, moving CAPC closer to its goal of bringing palliative care everywhere.

As part of her professional mission, Dr. Meier has made a career-long commitment to palliative care education, research, and advocacy. She is a faculty member at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, where she currently is Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethics, and Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. She founded and directed the Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute at Mount Sinai, from 1997 until 2011.

Dr. Meier has published several books and more than 200 original peer review papers. Her most recent book, Meeting the Needs of Older Adults with Serious Illness: Challenges and Opportunities in the Age of Health Care Reform, was published by Humana in 2014. She edited the first textbook on geriatric palliative care, as well as four editions of Geriatric Medicine.

Widely regarded as a preeminent change agent, Dr. Meier has received numerous awards that recognize and celebrate her achievements. Chief among these is the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, which she received in 2008; this $500,000, no-strings-attached “genius grant” is awarded to individuals who have proven exceptional creativity in their work and show promise to do more.

Since that time, Dr. Meier has been awarded a multitude of additional honors. Most recently, in 2017 she became the thirty-second recipient of the National Academy of Medicine’s Gustav O. Lienhard Award for Advancement of Health Care. This award recognized Dr. Meier’s achievements in driving awareness and adoption of palliative care services in the United States, and her success in spurring impressive growth in the nation’s palliative care capacity. Also in 2017 Dr. Meier was named TRUST award recipient by the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) of the American Hospital Association. This annual award is given to a visionary health care leader who has made significant contributions to improving the U.S. health care delivery system, and who symbolizes HRET’s mission to use research and education to improve health care quality in policy and practice.

Diane E. Meier received her BA from Oberlin College and her MD from Northwestern University Medical School. She completed her residency and fellowship training at Oregon Health Sciences University. She has been on the faculty of the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, and the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 1983. She lives in New York City.