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 seven children, Arland is blessed to lead the St. John Paul II Foundation as it serves, educates, and supports medical professionals, married couples, and clergy.
Natalie Rodden, M.D. is a palliative medicine physician at St. Anthony North Health Campus in the Denver metro area. She is a member of the Catholic Medical Association and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Rodden received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and her M.D. from Tulane University. She completed internal medicine residency at the University of Utah and palliative medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic Arizona. During medical school, she founded the Catholic Medical Association Student section, a national organization with the goal of preparing students to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine. She has been active in advancing efforts of support for Catholic healthcare workers in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Diocese of Salt Lake City, and now the Archdiocese of Denver. She writes and speaks nationally on practicing authentically Catholic end of life care and advocating against physician assisted suicide. Dr. Rodden is currently pursuing a masters degree in clinical bioethics. She leads an inpatient palliative care consultation service and serves as co-chair of her hospital's ethics committee.
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.
Ashley K. Fernandes, MD, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He received an MA in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University; an MD from The Ohio State University; and a PhD in Philosophy (Bioethics) from Georgetown University. Dr. Fernandes is board certified in General Pediatrics. Focusing on bioethics and professionalism education scholarship, he also practices both hospital and ambulatory pediatrics. Dr. Fernandes is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, an elected member of both the AAP’s Executive Committee on Bioethics and the Academy for Professionalism in Health Care’s Board of Directors, a member of the AOA Medical Honor Society, and a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, receiving the prestigious Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine award twice in the last 10 years. He has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards, most recently The Ohio State University College of Medicine’s Professor of the Year Award in 2020. Dr. Fernandes has been a member of the Catholic Medical Association since medical school, and is a member of their national speaker board, traveling across the country to speak on issues in Christian bioethics. He is also an advisor to the CMA Medical Student Section, which awarded him the national Mentor of the Year Award in 2015. He lives with his wife Shruti (a family physician) and two boys in Dublin, Ohio.
Dr. Christopher Kaczor (rhymes with razor) is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University. He received appointments as a member of the James Madison Society of Princeton University, the Pontifical Academy for Life of Vatican City, and a Consultor to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He graduated from the Honors Program of Boston College and earned a Ph.D. four years later from the University of Notre Dame. He has written more than 100 scholarly articles. A Fulbright Scholar and an award winning author, his fifteen books include Disputes in Bioethics, Abortion Rights: For and Against, 365 Days to Deeper Faith, The Gospel of Happiness, The Seven Big Myths about Marriage, A Defense of Dignity, The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church, The Ethics of Abortion, O Rare Ralph McInerny: Stories and Reflections on a Legendary Notre Dame Professor, Thomas Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues; Life Issues-Medical Choices; Thomas Aquinas on Faith, Hope, and Love; The Edge of Life, and Proportionalism and the Natural Law Tradition. Dr. Kaczor’s views have been in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, National Review, NPR, BBC, EWTN, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, MSNBC, TEDx, and The Today Show.
Thomas A. Cavanaugh, Ph.D. is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California. He is an Executive Board Member of both the American Catholic Philosophical Association (of which he will be president in 2020) and the Philosophers in Jesuit Education. Professor Cavanaugh has his B.A. Degree from Thomas Aquinas College and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. Professor Cavanaugh has published a book with Oxford University Press on the Hippocratic Oath entitled, Hippocrates’ Oath and Asclepius’ Snake: The Birth of the Medical Profession (2018). At the University of San Francisco he regularly teaches about the Hippocratic Oath and medical ethics more generally. He has done so for the past twenty-five years. His other book entitled Double-effect Reasoning and published by Oxford University Press (2006) also concerns medical ethics, as do many of his articles. In 2019, Dr. Cavanaugh received the Smith Award from University Faculty for Life for his scholarship in medical ethics.
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