James K. O'Brien

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Description of Bioethics Expertise

Physician, Overlake Hospital
Bellevue, WA


Research Interests:
Pulmonary, Sleep disorders and critical care medicine,


Dr. O'brien comes from the Pacific Northwest where he is a practicing pulmonary and critical care physician in Seattle. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Minnesota and did an internal medicine residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. His subspecialty training was done at New York University/Bellevue Chest Service and Stanford University.

Dr. O'brien's interest in bioethics began in medical school where he sat for four years on the student bioethics committee with the late Ron Cranford M.D and Steve Miles M.D. Out of serendipity, he cared for the infamous Helga Wanglie while at Hennepin County Medical Center and took an interest in end-of-life issues.

His goal as a visiting scholar at the Center for Bioethics is to gain a better understanding and framework to apply and to teach end-of-life and social justice issues, something he, his medical colleagues and nurses on the ICU encounter daily. He wants to think like an ethicist while working like a clinician and teacher. Dr. O'brien considers it an honor and a privilege to be given the opportunity to join the program.
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Last updated: 09/23/2009
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