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Steinkraus Lecture to feature expert on conscientious objection in health care

OSWEGO — Dr. Mark Wicclair, professor of philosophy at West Virginia University, will speak about conscientious objection in health care decisions at the SUNY Oswego philosophy department’s 26th annual Warren Steinkraus Lecture on Human Ideals at 2:15 p.m. Sept. 20.

Titled “Conscientious Objection in Health Care: Deciding When to Accommodate Health Professionals,” the free public lecture will take place in the Historic Lecture Hall, Room 222 of Sheldon Hall.

Wicclair will examine conscientious objection in the fields of medicine, nursing and pharmacy. He will focus on the exemption of certain medical procedures based on one’s conscience.

Among his publications, Wicclair has written about the balance of clinicians’ moral integrity against the interests of patients and health organizations when weighing whether to assist with such procedures as induced abortion, sterilization or foregoing medically provided nutrition and hydration.

Also an adjunct professor of social and behavioral sciences at West Virginia and an adjunct professor in medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Bioethics and Law, Wicclair has published widely in professional journals on bioethics and applied ethics, and has written two books, the award-winning “Conscientious Objection in Health Care: An Ethical Analysis” and “Ethics and the Elderly.”

The philosopher, who earned his doctorate in philosophy at Columbia University, received the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for College Teachers and Independent Scholars. He has earned six awards for outstanding research, teaching and public service at West Virginia University.

Established in 1988, the lecture series honors Warren Steinkraus, who was an active member and co-founder of several professional philosophical societies and the associate editor of the philosophy journal Idealistic Studies. Steinkraus, who passed away in 1990, was personally committed to ideals such as social justice, equality, peace, nonviolence and aesthetic quality.

The Oswego College Foundation manages an endowment created by donations from Steinkraus’ many friends and admirers to fund the not-for-profit educational series.