Dr. Stephen Katz, the Dean of Clinical sciences visited the St Lucia campus and was involved in case discussions and presentation with senior students. A case involving an ethical dilemma which may be faced by students in their future careers was discussed by Drs. Katz and Kheck. A patient (an actual recent case in Dr. Katz’s practice) was diagnosed with untreatable metastatic colon cancer to the brain. The location of the tumor in the cerebellum made any treatment extremely risky. The patient, after considering her options made the decision to relocate to Oregon from Maryland, and enroll in the “Death with Dignity Program”. This program, legal in Oregon, allows a patient, with the consent of a treating physician, to take their own life with the use of a mixture of narcotic and barbiturate medications, at the time of their choosing.
A lively discussion with the students on whether they could support such a decision in their role as a physician ensued. Many students expressed religious objections to the patient’s decision. Others expressed support for her decision. Ultimately, Dr. Katz told students that they must practice within their own ethical boundaries, and may need to refer patients to other providers if they do not feel comfortable with a specific treatment plan.
Dr. Stephen Katz: Dr. Katz attended the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in 1992 when he also earned board certification in Internal Medicine. He was an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland Medical School for several years in the 1990’s when he also served as internal medicine residency program director, teaching medical students and medical residents. After several years of teaching, he earned a fellowship in the American College of Physicians, awarded to those who have made a contribution to academic medicine or research. Dr. Katz has been in private practice in Severna Park, Maryland for 16 years. His interests include preventive cardiology, lifestyle modification to prevent chronic disease, and the evaluation of complex, multi-system diseases. He maintains hospital privileges at Anne Arundel Medical Center.
Dr. Katz is married, has three children and lives locally in Severna Park. He enjoys boating, refurbishing automobiles and boats, running and cycling.