Palliative Care & Ethics Conference

May 16-17, 2013 

Power Center, Ballroom
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Registration Is Closed

Here is the conference program.

The conference will provide a critical examination of the ethical, philosophical and religious issues that arise in daily care for patients at the end of life.

Program qualifies for 13.8 Nursing CE credits.
The National Association of Social Workers has approved this conference for 13.5 continuing educational credits.NASW logo
The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) has approved 13.25 of continued education hours.
The Association of Professional Chaplains has also recognized this conference for continued education hours for its members.


Duquesne University is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the PA State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commssion on Accreditation.

General Information


This 2-day conference is aimed to enhance the healthcare professionals understanding of ethical issues that can arise in end of life care. A combination of speakers, break out groups and case discussions will provide participants an opportunity to expand their understanding of end-of-life care and the ethical issues that are pertinent in that care, as well as their capacity to deal with these issues.


The objective of the conference is to educate the participants on the major ethical issues related to palliative care and hospice care, in particular:

  • Examining ethical questions arising in the care for the dying
  • Reflecting on philosophical and religious queries at the end of life
  • Providing examples and experiences to better articulate the ethical issues in end-of-life care

Continuing Education Credits:

Program qualifies for 13.8 Nursing CE credits.NASW logo
The National Association of Social Workers has approved this conference for 13.5 continuing educational credits.
The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) has approved 13.25 of continued education hours.
The Association of Professional Chaplains has also recognized this conference for continued education hours for its members.

Please Register Soon, Maximum 100 Participants only.

Registration Fee:

  • $150.00 (before 3/31/13)
  • $180.00 (after 3/31/13)

Breakfast and Lunch included in the registration fee.


For more information please contact:
Glory Smith; or: 412.396.4504

Thursday, May 16, 2013

8:00 - 9:15 Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:45 Welcome and Introduction

Henk ten Have, M.D., Ph.D., Director and Professor, Center for Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne University

9:45 - 10:30 Introduction to Palliative Care/Hospice Care

Cristen Krebs, D.N.P., ANP-BC, Catholic Hospice

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 11:30 Keynote Lecture: Suffering, Death and Palliative Care

Sr. Rosemary Donley, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN, Professor, Jacques Laval Chair for Social Justice, School of Nursing, Duquesne University

11:30 - 12:00 Questions and Answers

12:00 - 12:30 Lunch

12:30 - 1:30 Autonomy and Dependence

Daniel A. Iracki, Critical Care Medicine, Pulmonology, Internal Medicine, Pittsburgh and Washington, PA

1:30 - 2:30 Break-Out Session: Case Study #1 - Autonomy and Beneficence in End of Life Care

2:30 - 3:30 Plenary Reporting

3:30 - 4:00 Break

4:00 - 5:00 Quality of Life and Good Death in Palliative Care

James Rossetti, DO, Western Pennsylvania Cancer Institute

5:00 Reception

Friday, May 17, 2013

8:00 - 9:00 Breakfast

9:00 - 10:00 Spirituality and Palliative Care

The Reverend William J. Waltersheid, Auxillary Bishop of Pittsburgh

10:00 - 11:00 Break Out Session: Case Study #2 - "What is a Good Death?"

11:00 - 12:00 Plenary Reporting

12:00 - 12:30 Lunch Break

12:30 - 1:30 Moral Deliberation

Gerard Magill, Ph.D., Professor, Center for Healthcare Ethics, Vernon F. Gallagher Chair for the Integration of Science, Theology, Philosophy and the Law, Duquesne University

1:30 - 2:30 Foregoing Treatment

William A. Ferri, M.D., UPMC - Cancer Center, Medical Director, Catholic Hospice

2:30 - 2:45 Break

2:45 - 3:45 Sedation in Palliative Care

Henk ten Have, M.D., Ph.D., Director Center for Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne University

3:45 - 4:45 Break Out Session: Case Discussion # 3 - Sedation and Pain Management

4:45 - 5:00 Plenary Reporting

5:00 - 5:15 Evaluation

5:15 Closing Remarks and Distribution of Certificates



Please Register Soon, Maximum 100 Participants only.

Registration Fee:
$150.00 (before 3/31/13)
$180.00 (after 3/31/13)
Breakfast and Lunch included in the registration fee.

Registration is Closed

The following hotel room blocks have been reserved for May 15 and May 16, 2013.
Pittsburgh Marriott City Center (closest to conference)

112 Washington Place
Pittsburgh, PA


Special rate available until: Wed, April 24, 2013.

Please, follow this link to reserve a room at the discounted rate.


Our Speakers
Hen ten Have, M.D., Ph.D.

Henk ten HaveHenk ten Have studied medicine and philosophy at Leiden University, the Netherlands. He received his medical degree in 1976 from Leiden University and his philosophy degree in 1983. He worked as a researcher in the Pathology Laboratory, University of Leiden (1976-1977), as a practicing physician in the Municipal Health Services, City of Rotterdam (1978-1979), and as a Professor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limburg, Maastricht (1982-1991). From 1991 he was a Professor of Medical Ethics and the Director of the Department of Ethics, Philosophy and History of Medicine in the University Medical Centre Nijmegen, the Netherlands. In September 2003 he joined UNESCO as Director of the Division of Ethics of Science and Technology. Since July 2010 he is Director of the Center for Healthcare Ethics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, USA.


Sr. Rosemary Donley, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN

Sr. Rosemary DonleyAs a member of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Sr. Rosemary Donley, PhD, APRN, FAAN, came to Duquesne University School of Nursing in 2009 attracted by its commitment to social justice. She holds the Jacques Laval Chair for Justice for Vulnerable Populations in the School of Nursing. Each year, she spearheads the Rita M. McGinley symposia on justice for vulnerable populations. These national symposia, The Face of the Elderly; The Face of the Immigrant and The Face of the Veteran, awaken awareness and stimulate action on behalf of justice. In October 24-25, 2013, the School of Nursing will present The Face of the Child. Sr. Rosemary also teaches graduate seminars in health policy and social justice and works with family nurse practitioner faculty and students.

Sr. Rosemary has positively influenced the nursing discipline and the health of our citizens by serving as President of the National League for Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and as past Senior Editor of Image: The Journal of Nursing Scholarship. She has authored over 100 publications and chapters in books and has presented papers throughout the United States, Kenya, Spain, The People's Republic of China, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Israel, Canada, Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. She has worked extensively with the U.S. Army and Navy Medical Commands; served on the peer review panel of Tri-Service Nursing Research group and as a faculty member at the Tri-Service Nursing Research grant camps. Sr. Rosemary also serves as a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Special Medical Advisory Group (SMAG).


Gerard Magill, Ph.D.

Gerard MagillDr. Magill holds the Vernon F. Gallagher Chair for the Integration of Science, Theology, Philosophy, and Law and is a tenured Professor in the Center for Healthcare Ethics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Magill received his bachelor degrees in philosophy and in theology as well as his Licentiate degree in Moral Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome, Italy (1969-1976). He received his PhD degree in Theology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 1987.

Between 1976-1996, Dr. Magill held academic appointments in ethics at Drygrange College, Melrose, Scotland, at Loyola University, Chicago, IL, and in the Department of Theology at Saint Louis University. From 1996-2006, Dr. Magill was Department Chair, Executive Director, and a tenured Professor in the Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. During that time he also held faculty appointments as Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine and as Professor of Health Administration in the School of Public Health. Also, he held an appointment as a Division Director in the Department of Internal Medicine at Saint Louis University Hospital and he was a member of the Faculty Executive Committee for the Center for Business Ethics in the School of Business and Administration at Saint Louis University. And he served on the University's Institutional Review Board for the Health Sciences Campus and the Hospital Ethics Committee.


Cristen M. Krebs, DNP, ANP-BC

Cristen KrebsCristen KrebsDr. Krebs, Catholic Hospice Founder / Executive Director, is a graduate of Robert Morris University's Doctor of Nursing Practice Program with twenty years of end-of-life care experience. After several years in the field of hospice nursing, Dr. Krebs became disheartened with the trend of hospices becoming more business oriented than patient focused. Concerned that direct patient care was being compromised, in 1997, Dr. Krebs began the first faith-based, nonprofit hospice program serving Pittsburgh and surrounding counties. In May 2007, she incorporated Catholic Hospice, the only pro-life, non-profit hospice in Pittsburgh. Catholic Hospice embraces the Vatican's Declaration on Euthanasia, encouraging all faiths to uphold the teachings of the church when caring for those experiencing terminal illness.


Daniel Iracki, BA, M.D.

Daniel IrackiDr. Iracki is a practicing physician with specialties in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, and Palliative Care. He is now the Palliative Care Director at Monongehela Hospital. He received his doctorate in medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1979, his certification in Internal Medicine in 1982, a certification in Pulmonary Medicine in 1985, and a certification in Critical Care Medicine in 1987. He has had a private practice since 1984, and has practiced in Western Pennsylvania Hospital, St. Clair Memorial Hospital, and Washington Hospital, all in Pennsylvania between 1984 to the present. He is now finishing work on an MA in philosophy with a concentration in bioethics at Franciscan University. His bioethics studies have centered on end-of-life issues.


James Rossetti, D.O.

James RossettiDr. Rossetti is Associate Director of the Cell Transplantation Program, Associate Director of Fellowship Training and Director of Clinical Apheresis at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital. He earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed an internship and internal medicine residency at St. Francis Medical Center of Pittsburgh. He did fellowship training in hematology and medical oncology at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital and is board certified in medical oncology and hematology. He is an Assistant Professor at the Temple University School of Medicine and an Adjunct Clinical Instructor for the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Rossetti is a recognized expert in hematological malignancy with particular interest in myeloid malignancy, acute myelogenous leukemia, myelodysplasia, and cellular therapy. The Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation recognizes Dr. Rossetti as a recommended specialist physician dedicated to treating disorders that inhibit healthy blood cell production. He is an accomplished clinical investigator with numerous publications in the scientific and lay literature and is a particularly sought after speaker.
Dr. Rossetti serves on the Advisory Board and Medical Advisory Committee of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Western Pennsylvania Chapter. He is also an active participant in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team In Training events. He serves as a member and consultant on the Western Pennsylvania Hospital's Ethics Committee and also functions as the Chairman of the hospital's Cancer Committee. As an adult stem cell transplant physician, Dr. Rossetti has a keen interest in debunking the myths that surround the stem cell debate. As a pro-life physician, he has spoken widely in support of adult stem cells, which preserve life at all levels of development. Likewise, he seeks to educate the public on the moral and scientific problems associated with embryonic stem cell research.


Reverend William J. Waltersheid

Rev. WaltersheidReverend Waltersheid was born in Ashland, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Pottsville Hospital School of Nursing in 1983. Then, he studied at St. John Seminary College in Brighton, Massachusetts and received a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in philosophy and classical languages. In 1988 Bishop Waltersheid was sent to the Pontifical North American College in Rome for continued formation for the priesthood. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Theology in 1991 from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology from that same university in 1993. He was ordained a deacon in Rome in 1992 and a priest in Harrisburg later the same year.

He remained in Rome for further studies until 1995 when he returned to the Diocese of Harrisburg and was assigned as parochial vicar at Prince of Peace Parish in Steelton. In 1999 Father Waltersheid returned to Rome and served on the faculty of the Pontifical North American College until 2003. He served for one year as Director of Apostolic Works and then for three years as Vice Rector of the seminary. In June of 2003 he was appointed Pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Carlisle. In June of 2006 he was appointed Diocesan Secretary for Clergy and Consecrated Life by the Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades. On February 25, 2011 it was announced that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Titular Bishop of California.


William A. Ferri , M.D., Catholic Hospice Medical Director

William FerriDr. Ferri is in his 13th year of serving as a hospice medical director and has been an oncologist since 1992, currently practicing within the Heritage Valley Health System. Board Certified in Palliative Medicine and Hospice, Dr. Ferri's keen sense of making all opportunities educational has yielded him as a highly regarded Medical Director by hospice teams. He was instrumental in the development of the first free standing hospice house in western Pennsylvania.  As the Medical Director of Catholic Hospice, Dr. Ferri's responsibilities include: serving as a member of the interdisciplinary team for developing, maintaining, and monitoring all policies and standards of the medical activities of the organization consistent with the program's policies.

Dr. Ferri has authored numerous publications with regards to oncological medicine and has participated in research studies related to the comprehensive treatments of patients and biologic implications.  He is active on several professional boards throughout Allegheny and Beaver counties.