Stanford Center for
Biomedical Ethics

Jonathan King Lectures

Current and Past Jonathan King Lectures

The Jonathan J. King Lectureship was established in 1991 to encourage the compassionate and humane care of all patients. It is a part of Stanford University Medical Center's mission to enhance patient treatment and the art of caring. Free and open to the public.

A gifted computer scientist by profession and a philosopher by inclination, Dr. King was above all a humanist with a deep concern for the dignity of individuals. Three weeks before dying from cancer at age 41 in 1991, Dr. King defined key messages he wished to bring to the medical community through the lecture series. He hoped that the lectureship would communicate the need to empathize with patients and the need to provide the patients with hope, a measure of control, comfort and physical support -- including the need to hasten attempts to apply promising but unproven treatments for patients diagnosed with life-threatening conditions.

The lecture series, which features superb medical humanists from around the country, helps caregivers, patients, and their families communicate more effectively as they seek to become more knowledgeable about critical decisions affecting an individual's health care.

The Vision of Jonathan J. King, Feb. 1991

Sponsorship for the annual lectures results from the generous contributions of the Paul & Borghild Petersen Foundation, The Health Library at Stanford, Stanford Medical Informatics, the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, and other individual donors. SCBE took over management of the lectures beginning with the October 2000 speaker.

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