Villanova University Announces 2008 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics

John Hansen-Flaschen, M.D. will receive the 2008 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics

For Immediate Release
September 4, 2007

VILLANOVA, PA. -- The Ethics Program of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Villanova University will present its second annual Praxis Award in Professional Ethics to John Hansen-Flaschen, M.D., a distinguished physician specializing in critical care pulmonology. The Praxis Award highlights and celebrates the contributions of a professional or an academic in the field of professional ethics. The award will be presented on April 2, 2008, at 5 p.m. in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center.

The 2008 Praxis Award celebration has been made possible with the generous support of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Nursing, and the Villanova Law School.

Recipients of the award have accomplished one or more of the following achievements:

  • excellence in fulfilling and embodying the ethical ideals of a profession
  • excellence in connecting professional work to a broader understanding of the common good
  • excellence in promoting and embodying ethical integrity in a professional field
  • excellence with respect to research in the field of professional ethics
  • excellence in terms of influence on the field of professional ethics through writing, teaching, consulting, and/or professional leadership.

Dr. Hansen-Flaschen is currently the Chief of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine in the University of Pennsylvania Health System. A scientist with over 50 publications in top-flight medical journals, his clinical research has led to new life-saving therapies for critically ill patients. Dr. Hansen-Flaschen’s clinical practice includes patients with lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, respiratory failure, and cystic fibrosis, all terminal diagnoses.

"The Praxis Award for Professional Ethics recognizes that issues of ethics and values are at the heart of every human endeavor," said Rev. Kail C. Ellis, O.S.A., Ph.D, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. "This year's recipient, John Hansen-Flaschen, M.D., a distinguished physician specializing in critical care pulmonology, unequivocally embodies the characteristics the award seeks to honor.”

Equally as important as his important work is the manner in which Dr. Hansen-Flaschen accomplishes it. His compassion in working with terminal patients is extraordinary, as is his respect for each individual’s personal narrative in arriving at a treatment plan. His research and publications have drawn attention to shortcomings in critical care, and his focus on more humane care for the critically ill and dying have resulted in significant reforms in treatment, including a much greater emphasis on palliation. His efforts have helped make palliation the accepted professional practice in critical care when cure is no longer attainable.

“Through his work with the critically ill, Dr. Hansen-Flaschen not only has made meaningful and lasting contributions to the medical field, but also has touched the lives of many, many people under his care,” added Father Ellis. “It is indeed an honor for Villanova to present to him the 2008 Praxis Award for Professional Ethics."

The Ethics Program of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences inaugurated the Praxis Award in Professional Ethics on March 28, 2007. The first recipient of this award was Dr. Joel J. Nobel, M.D., co-founder and President Emeritus of ECRI. Formerly the Emergency Care Research Institute, ECRI is a nonprofit health services research agency and a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is designated as an Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. For more information, visit http://www.villanova.edu/artsci/ethics/praxisaward/.