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Press Release

Dealing with Cancer, When the Professional Becomes Personal: Ethicist to Speak at UC San Diego

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) April 23, 2014

In 2006, when Rebecca Dresser was diagnosed with oral cancer, her life was thrown off-balance.

A professor of law and ethics at Washington University in St. Louis, Dresser had been teaching and writing for years about dealing with life-threatening diseases. Yet she found herself personally unprepared for the experience when she learned she had cancer.

Based on her experience, Dresser will address the topic of "Ethicists Confront Cancer: When the Professional Becomes Personal" on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 5:30 to 7 pm, at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, in San Diego's Balboa Park (1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101).

"Despite having more than a fair amount of experience talking about death and dying, I discovered I had conflicting values when trying to make my own treatment choices," she said. "I thought I knew what to expect, but it's so different when it's you and not someone else."

After returning to her role at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, she authored the book "Malignant: Medical Ethicists Confront Cancer."

In the book, she joins fellow medical ethicists who tell their own cancer stories. They describe how their outlook changed, and point to neglected issues in cancer care.

The program will be the seventh in a series focusing on cancer and themed on Siddhartha Mukherjee's 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "The Emperor of All Maladies." The series is co-presented by the Center for Ethics in Science & Technology and UC San Diego Extension.

An expert in biomedical ethics, Dresser holds a joint appointment with Washington University School of Medicine. Since 1983, she has taught law-school and medical-school students about legal and ethical issues related to end-of-life care, biomedical research, genetics, and assisted reproduction. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School.

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