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Affiliated Faculty

Affiliated faculty at the Center of Bioethics and Medical Humanities includes:

Sharon Douglas, MD

Douglas is a professor of medicine and Associate Dean for Veterans Administration Education at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and the Associate Chief of Staff for Education and Ethics and a staff pulmonologist at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery VA Medical Center. Douglas also earned certification in health care ethics from the University of Washington in 1998, has served as an AMA Education for Physicians on End-of-life Care trainer, is a member of the Veterans Health Administration National Ethics Committee, as well as chairing the American Medical Association's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, and is a member of the Mississippi State Medical Association's Judicial Council, shaping policies that further ethics within clinical care. Three times chosen by UMMC School of Medicine students as an All-Star Teacher (2000, 2002, 2005), her research interests are in informed consent, cultural proficiency, communicating difficult findings, and end-of-life care.

Amy W. Forbes, PhD

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Forbes is an historian specializing in medical history, cultural history and the history of the French-speaking world. After graduating from Louisiana State University, she earned an M.A. in History and an M.Ed. in Social Science Education from the University of Georgia, and her doctorate from Rutgers University. She is currently Professor of History at Millsaps College. With expertise in public history, archival research methods, and oral history collection, she specializes in social and cultural factors in medical information and the history of debates around specific illnesses such as yellow fever and sickle-cell disease. She has published numerous articles on medical history, a book on French Revolution politics, is writing a book on the history of medicine in the Caribbean and New Orleans, and is the primary investigator for the Asylum Hill project on the history of mental illness treatment in Mississippi.

Elizabeth Hensley, MD

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Hensley received her medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and completed her residency in pediatrics at UMMC. Her professional experience has been diverse, practicing clinically in private practice, working in the public health care system and serving as the medical director of a large private health insurance company. Working in the areas of disease management, case management and medical policy stimulated her interest in the multifaceted dimensions of the bioethical issues faced today. She has served as a Fellow with the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity in Chicago and is currently pursuing a master's degree in bioethics from Trinity University. Her research and teaching interests include spirituality and faith as they inform professionalism and clinical decision-making.

Samuel Hensley, MD

Hensley is the director of Gastrointestinal Pathology for GI Associates and a neuropathology consultant for Mississippi Baptist Medical Center. He received his MD from West Virginia University and completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Wilford Hall in San Antonio and a fellowship in neuropathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. He received a master's degree in bioethics from Trinity University in 2000 and has served as a fellow with the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity in Chicago and on the Health and Human Services Committee in Washington that advises the president and Congress on issues surrounding organ transplantation and procurement (ACOT). His research and teaching interests include genetic technology and the philosophical interface of science and religion.

Susan Shands Jones, JD

Jones received degrees in art history and law from Vanderbilt University and is a member of the Mississippi, Tennessee, and District of Columbia Bar Associations, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and the American Health Lawyer's Association. She is a fifth-generation Jacksonian whose tireless efforts as associate general counsel for the University of Mississippi Medical Center, a leader within local community service organizations, and strong voice of support for access and advocacy in health care and education are summed up in her view that, "We've all got to care about Jackson." After several years of practicing administrative land and environmental law on behalf of the public sector, Jones was recruited to serve initially as Mississippi's associate secretary of state for securities and business, and then as the state's special assistant attorney general for the secretary of state's office. She joined the UMMC in 1997, where in addition to representing the school in the areas of corporate transactions, administrative, real property, and research law, she taught a School of Medicine elective in ethics and the law. Currently, she supports Professionalism Across the Curriculum objectives, and teaches a Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities undergraduate bioethics fellowship course segment on Medicine and the Humanities. Her professional interests are in the importance of ethics to both public policy and advocacy efforts, professional and voluntary.

April Palmer, MD

palmer, april.jpgPalmer is chief and professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the UMMC and currently serves as the medical center's subcommittee chair for ethics education. She received a bachelor's degree in human biology and her M.D. from the University of Kansas and pursued pediatric training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, where she served as chief resident. Board certified in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases, Palmer's particular ethics interests include research ethics, health-care access, and the ethics of new biotechnologies.

Jonathan F. Will, JD

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Will is assistant professor of law, director of the Center for Bioethics and Health Law, and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at Mississippi College School of Law. Having studied English, psychology, and religion as an undergraduate at Canisius College, he received his law degree and a masters in bioethics from the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests are in the intersection of law, ethics and medical humanities and the roles that religion and moral theory play in shaping individual medical decisions and overall policy, particularly with respect to decisions concerning the beginning and end of life.