Pellegrino Medal Recognizes Contribution to Health Care Ethics

David Brushwood, R.Ph., J.D., a professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, joined the ranks of world-renowned clinical ethicists on April 13, when he was recognized at the 11th annual Healthcare Ethics and Law Institute (HEAL) conference.

Sponsored by Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Brushwood received a Pellegrino Medal at a special ceremony, which also recognized John Lantos, M.D., a professor and director of the Children’s Mercy Bioethics Center in Kansas City, Mo.

The medal is named for Dr. Edmund D. Pellegrino, the first recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

Brushwood addressed pressing health-care ethics and law issues during the HEAL program, “Moral Distress at the Bedside: A Role for Hospital Ethics Committees.”

After 35 years in the pharmacy profession, Brushwood spoke of the challenges he still faces since his commitment to the profession the day he first recited the Pharmacist’s Oath.

“Pharmacists are placed in an untenable position where they are ethically obligated to provide opioid medications to chronic pain patients who suffer every minute of their lives,” Brushwood said, “but, they also must comply with legal requirements to deny access to abusable drugs for those who should not have them.”

A graduate of the schools of pharmacy and law at the University of Kansas, Brushwood taught at West Virginia University and Philadelphia College of Pharmacy before joining the UF College of Pharmacy. His research focus is in regulating for outcomes, pharmacist professional responsibility, and pain management policy.