|Ruth Sanborn, MA|
As I chatted with my 83-year old dad in his dining room the other day, I realized that the ACES workshop experience of three weeks ago continues to gift me with learning and insights. After my mother passed away 4-1/2 years ago, my dad named me as his legally recognized health care decision maker in the event he is not able to speak for himself. Dad has experienced some significant medical crises since mom passed away but, like the Phoenix, he has risen from the ashes. Mindful that this will not always be the case, and that he has probably spent time re-evaluating his preferences in light of these crises, I endeavored to explore what his current end-of-life wishes are. I used the details and challenges presented in one of the simulation cases to guide our conversation. I prompted Dad with “what ifs”. As he pondered and responded, and I waited quietly and patiently listened. It was a tender and respectful conversation; it was priceless. It demonstrated the depth of trust my dad has gifted to me. Even more, it served as a reminder of the holy ground on which we bioethics consultants stand when we are invited into the sacred space of patients and families who must make difficult health care decisions.
Ruth Sanborn, MA, is a full-time instructor of ethics for the Religious Studies Department of Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles. She is a student in the Doctorate in Bioethics graduate program at Loyola University Chicago.
The Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics recently conducted their Advanced Clinical Ethics Skills course during a three-day intensive experience in the clinical skills center on the campus of Loyola University Chicago. This blended course provided an opportunity for their advanced graduate students to improve and refine their clinical ethics skills. The focus of the course was for students to develop their own portfolios for quality attestation. Students practiced consultation skills, evaluated the performance of others and received feedback from faculty reviewers.