Hofstra University Bioethics Center


Jonathan Altus M.D.I'm a Pulmonary/Critical Care physician in private practice for the past 25 years. I spend half my clinical practice time in my Baldwin office and approximately the other half at South Nassau Communities Hospital. Currently I'm the co-director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and am an administrative and supervising clinical attending in Pulmonary and Critical Care at South Nassau. Over the past 5 years I had become interested in the hospitals Palliative Care program.

Approximately 2 years ago I was named the co-chair of our hospital's Ethics committee. This became relevant to me that many patients in our critical care units had challenging ethical issues. While I had some exposure to Ethics during my exposure to Palliative Care, I realized I needed more education in my role on the Ethics committee and in dealing with ethical issues of critical care patients.  Fortunately, Hofstra has started its Bioethics Certificate Course.
The course has enabled me to better understand Ethics and how best to deal with challenging issues. It provides relevant reading material with corresponding clinical cases. I have become better in understanding all sides to ethical dilemmas and how they can be attempted to be resolved. I feel more comfortable in evaluating and resolving ethical dilemmas. 

The relaxed setting with 3 renowned professors who are always willing to listen has been empowering to me. I now listen more to my patients and staff and hope I am less judgmental. The class offers viewpoints from medical and law students, as well as lawyers, nurses, chaplains, researchers, and others. I'm hopeful I'll have long lasting friendships from this wonderful class. It is my goal to continue my Ethics education.  It has humbled me. I have been blessed to have taken this course.

Jonathan Altus M.D.

Lyn Weiss, M.D.Unless you have graduated from medical school within the past few years, you probably haven't had any formal training in bioethics. Yet as physicians and as humans, we face ethical issues every day.

The Hofstra University Bioethics course has been the most useful (and fun!) course I have taken. The program included attorneys, physicians, ethicists, clergy, students and administrators, giving me different perspectives that I would have never received otherwise.   I learned from my colleagues (a very bright, diverse and engaging group of professionals), my teachers and the weekly readings.

I realize we are all pressed for time, but I could not think of a more worthwhile endeavor either professionally or personally. This class has helped make me a better advocate for my patients' interests and thus a better clinician.
I feel I am better prepared to understand patients from their perspective, address conflicts and hopefully improve the way I practice medicine.

Lyn Weiss, M.D.
Chairman and Program Director
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Chair Ethics Committee
Nassau University Medical Center