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Tip Sheet

Not for publication

Updated on March 31, 2005 -- No. 130

UNC faculty experts available
Terri Schiavo case-related issues

The following experts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are available to discuss the kinds of decisions that can confront families when loved ones are placed on life support. Each can help reporters analyze issues now being raised relative to the Terri Schiavo case:

Dr. Cynthia M. Bulik, a professor of eating disorders and nutrition in UNC's schools of medicine and public health, is director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program. She can share expertise on how eating disorders can lead to the sorts of medical problems experienced by Terri Schiavo. Bulik can be reached at (919) 843-1689 or cbulik@med.unc.edu.

Dr. Peter Filene, a history professor, wrote "In the Arms of Others: A Cultural History of the Right to Die in America" (Ivan R. Dee, 1998). The book examines the 15 cases since 1975 that Filene believes have loomed largest in advancing discussions about the right to die. A news release about the book is available at http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/jul98/filene.htm. Filene can be reached by leaving a message at (919) 962-3971 or filene@email.unc.edu.

Dr. Barbara Germino, Carol Ann Beerstecher-Blackwell chairwoman of thanatology and professor in UNCís School of Nursing, has expertise in psychosocial oncology and in death and dying. She is particularly interested in individual and family responses to cancer diagnosis. Germino may be reached at (919) 966-9209 (work), (919) 403-5751 (home) or germino@email.unc.edu.

Dr. Edward J. Halloran, associate professor of nursing, can share expertise on severity of illness and outcomes of care, including patient death. Halloran was the project director for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant titled, "Notes on a Peaceful Death," which studied the care of dying patients. He may be reached at (919) 966-7207 or ehallora@email.unc.edu.

Dr. Susan Pierce, associate professor of nursing, has published articles on ethics, decision making and end-of-life care. Pierce may be reached at (919) 360-7793 or spierce@email.unc.edu.

Dr. Gary Winzelberg, a geriatrician and an assistant professor of medicine, researches how physicians and families communicate about end-of-life decisions for patients who cannot communicate their own treatment preferences. Media may page Winzelberg at (919) 216-2560.

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Contacts: UNC News Services, pager 919-216-2584; UNC Health Care Public Affairs pager, 919-216-1312