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Alumna receives prestigious medical ethics prize

December 08, 2014

  • Photo by Bruce Powell

Susan Willis Tolle B.A. ’73—a Phi Beta Kappa member and former Distinguished Alumna Award winner—has been awarded $50,000 and the MacLean Center Prize in Clinical Ethics for her pioneering work in end-of-life care. The award is the largest in the nation for clinical medical ethics.

Tolle, who directs the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health & Science University, is one of the founders of the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment movement. POLST is a registry of medical orders from patients who specify what level of care they want at the end of life.

“POLST is endorsed in 16 states and under development in another 26,” Tolle said. “I am deeply honored to receive the MacLean Prize on behalf of all who have worked so hard to ensure that patient wishes are elicited, recorded, and honored.”

In a testament to her passion, rather than keep the money, Tolle is donating it to the Center for Ethics in Health Care. The Oregonian reports that she is the first MacLean Prize winner to donate her award.

“Dr. Susan Tolle’s dedication, scholarship, and hard work to ensure that patients’ wishes are honored at the end of life has transformed the care of dying patients in the United States,” said Dr. Mark Siegler, director of the MacLean Center. “I’m very proud of how Dr. Tolle continues to improve patient care and advance the field of clinical medical ethics.”

Oregonian editorial Alumni and Parent Programs


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