CLINICAL ETHICS CENTER at Memorial Medical Center

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The Clinical Ethics Center staff provides a variety of services within Memorial Medical Center, Memorial Health System and Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine. Services include: case consultation, education, conferences, public speaking, policy development/review and research.

The Clinical Ethics Center staff have a faculty appointment at Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine, Medical Humanities, where they participate in medical student and resident education.

J. M. Craig, PhD
Director, Clinical Ethics Center, Memorial Medical Center
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Humanities

Biographical Sketch:
Dr. Craig received her doctoral degree in applied moral philosophy from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She did a clinical internship with the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio in preparation for her career as an ethicist. Her research interests include philosophical issues in neuropsychiatry and moral issues involving quality of life assessments. Dr. Craig has been with the Center since 1998. She is originally from Los Angeles, California.

Andrew Varney, MD
Medical Director, Clinical Ethics Center, Memorial Medical Center
Associate Professor, Department of Medical Humanities/Medicine

Biographical Sketch:
Dr. Varney is a General Internist and Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency at SIU, School of Medicine. He is cross-appointed, as an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Humanities and in the Department of Internal Medicine at SIU, School of Medicine. Dr. Varney assisted with the Center's opening in 1995 and has continued as medical director since that time. He is also Chairman of the Human Values and Ethics Committee at Memorial Medical Center and has held this position since 1994. Dr. Varney received his medical degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He has served on the DNR Taskforce for the State of Illinois. Dr. Varney has spoken widely on topics of Advance Directives, Hospital Policy Development, End-of-Life Decision-Making, Withholding and Withdrawing of Treatment and Palliation. He is originally from Ottawa, Illinois.

Christine Gorka, PhD
Ethicist, Clinical Ethics Center, Memorial Medical Center
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Humanities

Biographical Sketch:
Dr. Gorka received her doctoral degree in Health Care Ethics from Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri with a concentration in Research Ethics.  She did an internship in the Ethics Department of Ascension Health, St. Louis, MO and served as the Ethicist for the St. John-Providence Health System in Detroit, MI before joining Memorial Medical Center.  Dr. Gorka has a Master’s Degree in Theology from the Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, MO and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Biology from Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL.  Prior to pursuing a career in ethics, Dr. Gorka was a research scientist, most recently within the pharmaceutical industry (Pfizer, Pharmacia, and G.D. Searle).  Dr. Gorka’s research interests include the ethical ramifications of marginalization on access to health care resources, in particular gender related disparities.   She is originally from Madison, Illinois.

Shilpa Shashidhara, PhD
SAGE Coordinator, Clinical Ethics Center, Memorial Medical Center
Biographical Sketch: Dr. Shashidhara received her doctoral degree in Applied Gerontology from the University of North Texas and her masters’ degree in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from the University of South Florida. She completed an internship at Life Path Hospice and Palliative Care. Prior to pursuing a career in bioethics, Dr. Shashidhara was an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Texas teaching bioethics and aging courses at the graduate and undergraduate level. Her research interests include quality of life, end of life issues in the aging population, and futility. She is originally from Bradenton, Florida.

Fellow, Clinical Ethics Center, Memorial Medical Center
Biographical Sketch:

Laura Dillon
Clinical Support Specialist, Clinical Ethics Center, Memorial Medical Center
Biographical Sketch:
Mrs. Dillon provides a variety of clerical, receptionist and specialized support services for the Center. Mrs. Dillon has been an employee of Memorial Medical Center for over 40 years and she has also been with the Center since its opening in 1995.

Questions or comments - email us at Clinical Ethics Center
Last Updated May 25, 2012
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