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Dr. Danny L. Franke, Ph.D.
Dr. Danny L. Franke, Ph.D.

Local medical ethicist presents at national conference

Dr. Danny L. Franke, Ph.D. was a featured speaker at the 21st Annual Conference of The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Remembrance and Resilience, How bioethics and humanities can move us forward, which was held in October 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Dr. Franke is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Alderson Broaddus University (ABU). In addition, he serves on the Board of Trustees for Broaddus Hospital, and Davis Health System (DHS); and chairs the Medical Ethics Committees of DHS and Barbour County Home Health/Mountain Hospice.

At the conference Dr. Franke joined two other ethics professionals in a Paper Presentation addressing Prayer and Belief.  Dr. Franke presented ethical dilemmas in adolescent health care specifically as they relate to the possible conflict between religious values and medical values.  In particular, Franke identified some religious values adolescents incorporate from their religious communities and some methods of communication for resolving possible conflicts between their religious values and medical values. 

“The constantly changing health care environment is generating a more essential role for medical ethics.  It’s a dynamic and emerging field where medical, health care and religious ethics are coming together,” said Franke.

Franke has been published extensively, and presented at numerous state, regional, and national conferences on a variety of ethics and religion related topics such as technology, human rights, artificial intelligence, palliative care, and faith and medicine.

“As a distinguished scholar and professor of both ethics and religion, Dr. Franke brings academic and pastoral insight to the DHS and Broaddus Boards.  His contributions benefit patients, providers and the health system as a whole,” said DHS President and Chief Executive Officer Vance Jackson, FACHE.

“The complex world of medicine and health care today requires more attention from medical ethics committees than ever before.  Issues of religious values, technology, the role of health care providers, economics, and patient autonomy and rights all come together in challenging ways.  The role of the medical ethics committee is not to make a decision for others, but rather to help all the parties involved in a given ethical dilemma articulate the issues and arrive at a mutually agreeable decision if possible.  It is often the case that communication is the key to an amicable conclusion” according to Franke.

Dr. Franke serves as co-facilitator for a Health Care Ethics Course through West Virginia University School of Medicine, and is a chaplain for Mountain Hospice, Inc. 

He has held other related positions including Director of the ABU Christian Studies Program and serves on the Advisory Board for the West Virginia Network of Ethics Committees. Franke holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy with a concentration in clinical medical ethics from the University of Tennessee, a Master of Theology in Christian Ethics (Th.M.) from Princeton Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Baylor University.

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