as efficient cause
to show I'm still in the game," joked Max Palevsky, PhB'48,
SB'48, at the May 14 dedication of the residential commons bearing
his name, "let me enumerate-in the Aristotelian sense-the
causes" behind Chicago's new dormitories. He began with final
cause ("to house these hardworking students"), followed
by formal cause (the design by Ricardo Legorreta, who was also
among the dedication attendees) and material cause (bricks and
mortar, glass and wood). Last came efficient cause: "I could
never have conceived of such a magnificent cause by myself. No,
it took someone with insight, foresight, perseverance; someone
who wouldn't take no for an answer," Palevsky said, then
called former president Hugo Sonnenschein up to the dais to share
about efficient cause-the maker or builder of the thing-made me
consider the makers and builders of Max. For several weeks before
the dedication, every stroll past the quadrangle formed by the
Reg, Max, and Bartlett brought a visible change: gates built,
fences erected and painted, trees planted, sod laid, all in a
race against time.
looked up "deadline" in the Oxford English Dictionary,
expecting to find centuries' worth of etymology-an expectation
based on a feeling that the term must be as old as the human tendency
to procrastinate. I was, of course, wrong. One of the word's earliest
uses dates to the Civil War, when "deadline" signified
"a line drawn around a military prison, beyond which a prisoner
is liable to be shot down."
dictionary's example of "deadline" being used to indicate
a time-limit, "esp. a time by which material has to be ready
for inclusion in a particular issue of a publication," comes
from the January 10, 1920, Chicago Herald & Examiner,
reporting that "Corinne Griffith is working on 'Deadline
at Eleven,' the newspaper play."
before "deadline" was a household or an office word,
the concept flourished. Take October 1, 1892. At 8 that morning,
President Harper and 29 helpers finished their night's work: outfitting
Cobb Hall with desks, chairs, and tables. He washed his face,
gulped some coffee, and at 8:30 greeted the new University's first
April/02 "Chicago Journal" item on the U of C's Maclean
Center for Clinical Medical Ethics and its new collaborations
with French hospitals and agencies has a sequel.
as our April magazine hit your mailboxes, sociologist Kristina
Orfali, the center's assistant director, was interviewed on National
Public Radio's local affiliate, WBEZ, about her recently completed
study comparing parental involvement and decision making in neonatal
intensive care units in the U.S. and France. The study had a surprising
outcome: French parents, who are asked to make fewer decisions
about their child's treatment than their American counterparts,
"turned out to be the ones more satisfied with the experience."
also experienced far less guilt, since in the French "paternalistic"
model physicians make the treatment decisions and share them with
the parents. In contrast, in the "autonomous" model
of "informed consent" common in the U.S., parents often
have "to choose in a very difficult situation with high uncertainty,"
and can feel very much alone.
isn't calling for a wholesale switch to the French model, but
rather incorporating its best features: "Parents want the
responsibility, but not the guilt, and we should help them."
That means sharing insights, and in mid-June Orfali, along with
Mark Siegler, MD'67, the Maclean Center's director, and U of C
pediatrician John Lantos, will lead a Franco-American seminar
on clinical ethics-the first of its kind-at L'Institut des Sciences
Politiques de Paris.