Last updated on: 4/28/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

Paul D. Simmons, PhD Biography

Title:
Clinical Professor in the Division of Medical Humanism and Ethics of the Department of Family and Geriatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine
Position:
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“Loving care goes beyond the ethic of simply ‘keeping alive’ far past the time of meaningful existence. Assisted dying may also be the requirements of love and mercy when the patient is overwhelmed by disease. The covenant between physician and patient might well include aiding a quicker and less painful death. Morality requires that the patient not be abandoned but be comforted, consoled, counseled, and cared for even if they choose death…

The moral revulsion expressed and the public sentiment against PAS [physician-assisted suicide] are not sufficiently grounded in ethics and theology to offset the support generated for the practice among people who see the issue in profoundly different ways. The practice of physician assisted suicide will undoubtedly persist. Doctors and nurses will continue to help the dying in ways mutually agreed upon and in a manner mutually acceptable, regardless of the legal statutes of various states. PAS has been and likely will remain a part of medical practice as long as there are people who want to die with a caring physician’s assistance.”

Faith and Health: Religion, Science, and Public Policy, 2008

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Clinical Professor, Division of Medical Humanism and Ethics, Department of Family and Geriatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine, 1997-present
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Philosophy & Humanities, University of Louisville, 1994-present
  • President, Center for Ethics in Ministry & Medicine, 1993-present
  • Ordained Baptist Minister
  • Member, American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics
  • Member, American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities
  • Serves on the Hospital Ethics Committee (HEC) of the University of Louisville Hospital, Baptist Hospital East, and the Jefferson County Medical Society
  • Adjunct Professor, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, 1996-2000
  • Professor, Christian Ethics, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1982-1993
  • Former Pastor of churches in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee
Education:
  • PhD, Southern Baptist Seminary, 1970
  • ThM (Master of Theology), Southeastern Baptist Seminary, 1967
  • MDiv (Master of Divinity), Southeastern Baptist Seminary, 1962
  • BA, Psychology & English, Union University, 1958
Other:
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Did Dr. Jack Kevorkian Ethically Serve the Best Interests of His Patients?