Dr. William Toffler is Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University where he practiced the full scope of family medicine and taught medical students and residents for more than 34 years. He is co-founder and National Director of Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation (PCCEF), a non-profit organization that promotes compassionate care for severely ill patients without sanctioning or assisting their suicide. PCCEF physicians affirm an ethic based on the principle that all human life is inherently of value and that the physician's roles are to heal illness, alleviate suffering, and provide comfort for the sick and dying. He is committed to defending the long-standing, medical prohibition against doing harm. He has been a member of the Physicians Resource Council at Focus on the Family for more than 20 years. He has frequently invited to speak about medical ethical issues at both national and international conferences and on US television and radio including the NPR, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, as well as international media in Canada, Australia, the UK and Japan.
Arland K. Nichols, Ph.D. (cand.) is president and founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. After a decade of teaching and leadership at a Catholic college preparatory school and an international nonprofit, Arland launched the St. John Paul II Foundation in 2014. Early in his career he became a popular speaker and successful writer while he established the groundwork for the initiatives that would become the St. John Paul II Foundation. He is author, with Rev. John Leies of the forthcoming 4th edition of the Handbook on Critical Life Issues published by the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Arland earned a B.A. in philosophy from Texas A&M, an M.DIV. in Theology from University of St. Thomas, and is completing a Ph.D. in bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. With the generous support of his wife, Cindy, and their ten children, Arland is blessed to lead the St. John Paul II Foundation as it serves, educates, and supports medical professionals, married couples, and clergy.
Dr. Natalie King is a palliative medicine physician who specializes in caring for patients with serious illness and nearing the end of life. She is originally from Indiana and attended the University of Notre Dame. While in medical school at Tulane University, she founded the Catholic Medical Association Student Section. She completed internal medicine residency at the University of Utah and palliative medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. After fellowship she worked as a palliative medicine physician in Denver, Colorado, helping lead her hospital’s ethics committee and teach trainees. She completed a master’s degree in bioethics from The Ohio State University, partnering with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to improve education around palliative care for Catholic laity. She has organized a forum for the Catholic Medical Association on end-of-life issues. She is passionate about education and advocacy about palliative medicine and ethical issues relating to serious illness and the end-of-life and is set to have a book released by Ave Maria Press in fall of 2024. Dr. King currently lives with her family in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Grattan T. Brown, S.T.D. is Associate Professor and Chair of Theology at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. He earned a B.A. in English at Washington and Lee University, an M.A in English at the University of Memphis, a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology (S.T.B) from the University of St. Thomas in Rome and his doctorate in sacred theology (S.T.D.), from the Accademia Alfonsiana in Rome. Dr. Brown has written on rights of conscience in health care, stem cell research, and medical futility and presented his work in conferences across the United States. He has contributed articles to the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Christian Bioethics and Catholic Health Care Ethics: A Manual for Ethics Committees, the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, and the New Catholic Encyclopedia.
Sister Terese Auer, O.P., Ph.D. is the head of the bioethics department and a teacher at Saint John Paul the Great High School in Potomac Shores, Virginia. She is a board member of Human Life International. Sister Terese received her B.A. Degree in English from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI, and her Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Philosophy from the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX. Sister Terese has taught at the high school and college levels for about 40 years. She has also written two textbooks for high school students: The Human Person ~ Dignity Beyond Compare and Called to Happiness ~ Guiding Ethical Principles.
Michael J. Brescia, M.D. is Senior Vice-President and Executive Medical Director of Calvary Hospital located at 1740 Eastchester Road, Bronx, NY 10461. He received his B.S. Degree from Fordham University, Bronx, NY and his MD from Georgetown University Medical School. Dr. Brescia is internationally famous for the invention of the AV Fistula which has world-wide acclaim for the preservation of life in terminal renal disease and in renal transplantation which is now an accepted mode of therapy. Dr. Brescia has received awards and lectured world-wide on hemodialysis and access. While at the peak of his career in organ transplantation, he surrendered the economic fortunes to develop and create a hospital of singular nature devoted to terminal cancer patients as the response to euthanasia and assisted suicide. At the present time, world-wide acclaim has resulted in visitors from nearly every European and Asian nation for education.
Dr. Robin Pierucci is Jewish convert to Catholicism, a wife, mother of three, and a practicing neonatologist. She also has a master’s degree in bioethics as well as completing the National Catholic Bioethics Center ethics certificate course. In addition to her full-time clinical duties within the NICU, Dr. Pierucci remains active in perinatal palliative care, as well as leading ongoing performance improvement projects for drug exposed infants and their families. She has multiple publications in peer and non-peer reviewed journals and has spoken around the country on multiple perinatal and ethical topics. Additionally, Dr. Pierucci has appeared on a number of programs aired on EWTN including, Women of Grace, The Journey Home, EWTN Live, and her documentary about in vitro fertilization. She has been a member of the Catholic Medical Association for many years and has recently became an associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute and a board member of the American College of Pediatrics.
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