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Ethics Through the Looking Glass

A Look at Ethics in Surgical Specialties

Ethics is really about what we can and should do, not just what we must. It turns out that the chess board is probably not black and white…it’s made up of all of our diversities and all of our cultures and all of these grays of right and wrong.

Piroska Kopar, MD

Ethics Through the Looking Glass

Peer through a looking glass at ethics in surgical specialties and discover how that translates into care—both delivered and received.

At our recent Leading Edge Medicine program, Piroska Kopar, MD, director of the Center for Humanism and Ethics in Surgical Specialties (CHESS), discussed her vision for growing this new surgical ethics program at the Washington University School of Medicine.

CHESS is supported by The Barbara and Ira J. Kodner, MD, Endowed Fund for Surgical Ethics, established at The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Dr. Kopar is creating a national model that aims to set a national standard for ethics education in surgical residencies. She is building on a foundation established by Dr. Kodner, a pioneer in colon and rectal surgery and prominent medical ethicist. The endowed fund was created at the Foundation to honor Dr. Kodner and support education, research and advocacy in the field of surgical ethics.

Dr. Kodner, who also spoke at the event, is an emeritus professor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and the founder and first chief of the section of colon and rectal surgery at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He held the Solon and Bettie Gershman Endowed Chair in Colon and Rectal Surgery for 28 years until retiring in 2013.