Posted on November 16, 2020 at 8:49 PM
Georgetown University announced the death of Robert M. Veatch, Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Professor Emeritus of Medical Ethics, and a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy. He was a founding figure in the field of bioethics.
I had the pleasure of working with Bob as a graduate student at Georgetown in the early 1990s. Later, in the early 2000s, I seriously benefitted from his work when I was working on dozens of articles on medical futility. I again benefitted from his work on brain death when I turned to that issue around 2015.
But my favorite and most colorful memory of Bob was the several years we shared lecturing at Saint George’s University in the West Indies. I delivered early morning lectures on health law to 700 medical students before Bob came in cover bioethics. I often stuck around to listen to Bob rather than heading to the beach. Later in the day, it was fun to discuss tough issues in the relaxed environment of a Caribbean hotel as our wives swam in the pool before heading out for nutmeg ice cream.