• Paul Lanken

Paul Lanken, MD

  • Associate Dean for Professionalism & Humanism, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; Professor of Medicine and Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Email: Paul.Lanken@uphs.upenn.edu

Biosketch

My research interests in medical ethics have evolved over the past 20 years. As a board-certified pulmonologist and critical care specialist, my earlier interests were clinical ethics issues related to end of life decision making, allocation of scare resources, and end of life care. I was the chair or co-chair of three bioethics task forces of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) that wrote official ATS clinical guidelines or policies for Forgoing Life Support, Allocation of Scarce Resources and Integrating Palliative Care into Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

As a Module Leader and Associate Dean for Professinalism and Humanism, I have been able to successfully design and implement a 4-year integrated curriculum for medical students at Perelman SOM that supports their professional development, including stand alone courses in medical ethics in the first and fourth years. In 2007 I was one of five Gold Humanism Honor Society National Honorees.

After the tragedy of Jesse Gelsinger, a subject in a gene transfer experiment at Penn, I designed and directed a required introductory course related to research ethics, including the Gelsinger case, during the first year of medical school. I am currently focused on improving medical education and am leading a NIH NIDA-funded research team of medical educators from Penn's and Drexel's schools of medicine, in which we are testing the efficacy of novel educational interventions to enhance positive attitudes towards caring for, and communicating with, patients with substance use disorders - issues falling within the medical professionalism realm.

More recently, I am leading a NIH NIDA-funded research team of medical educators from Penn's and Drexel's schools of medicine, in which we are testing the efficacy of novel educational interventions to enhance positive attitudes towards caring for, and communicating with, patients with substance use disorders - issues falling within the medical professionalism realm. The medical education intervention includes using the following NIDA-sponsored online module, The Clinical Assessment of Substance Use Disorders.

Selected Publications

Morrison, G, Goldfarb, S, & Lanken, PN:

2010. Team Training of Medical Students in the 21st Century – Would Flexner Approve? Academic Medicine 85(2):254-9.

Terry PB, Lanken PN:

2008. Palliation or euthanasia and end-of-life care: Is it in the eye of the beholder? (Response to letter to editor). Am J Respir Crit Care Med.; 178:775-776.

Lanken PN, Terry PB, DeLisser HM, Fahy BF, Hansen-Flaschen J, Heffner JE, Levy M, Mularski RA, Osborne ML, Prendergast TJ, Rocker G, Sibbald WJ, Wilfond B, and Yankaskas JR, on behalf of the ATS End-of-Life Care Task Force:

2008. An Official American Thoracic Society Clinical Policy Statement: Palliative Care for Patients with Respiratory Diseases and Critical Illnesses. Am J Resp CC Med 177:912-927

Lanken PN:

2008. Ethics in the Intensive Care Unit, in Fishman AP, Elias J, Fishman J, Grippi MA, Senior RM, Pack AI (Eds) Fishman’s Pulmonary Diseases and Disorders, 4th ed., New York, McGraw-Hill, 2721-2734.

Luce JM, Cook DJ, Martin TR, Angus DC, Boushey HA, Curtis JR, Heffner JE, Lanken PN, Levy MM, Polite PY, Rocker GM, Truog RD; American Thoracic Society:

2004. The ethical conduct of clinical research involving critically ill patients in the United States and Canada: principles and recommendations. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 170(12):1375-1384.

Christie JD, Lanken PN:

2002. Patient 63. A 73-year-old man who fears suffocating yet requests withdrawal of life-supportive care, in Heffner JE, Byock I (Eds). Palliative and End-of-Life Pearls, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 198-201.

American Thoracic Society Bioethics Task Force. Fair Allocation of Intensive Care Unit Resources. (PN Lanken, Co-Chairman):

1997. Official Statement of the American Thoracic Society. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 156:1282-1301.

Lanken PN, Osborne ML, Terry PB:

1995. Should our journals publish research sponsored by the tobacco industry? Introduction: the ethics of publishing research sponsored by the tobacco industry in ATS/ALA journals. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151:269-270, 1995.

American Thoracic Society (PN Lanken, Chairman, Bioethics Task Force):

1991. ATS official statement on withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining therapy. Am Rev Resp Dis 144: 726-31.

Education

Harvard Medical School, MD 

Harvard College, AB