Paul R. Helft, MD

Paul R. Helft, MD photo

Director

phelft@iupui.edu

Dr. Helft was appointed Director of the Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics in November, 2004.  A native of Indianapolis, he completed his undergraduate degree in Humanities, medical degree, his internship and residency in internal medicine, and fellowships in hematology/oncology and clinical medical ethics at the University of Chicago.  There, he was a Fellow and Senior Fellow and Doctor-Patient Relationship Scholar at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics.  Dr. Helft joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine in 2001, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine.  His clinical work is based in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.  At Indiana University Health, he is a member of the Ethics Committee and co-chairs the Ethics Consultation Subcommittee.

Dr. Helft oversees all aspects of Fairbanks Center operations and is responsible for the creation of its major programs, including the Fairbanks Fellowship in Clinical Ethics and the Fairbanks Program in Nursing Ethics.  Dr. Helft’s own research interests have focused on the ethical aspects of doctor-patient communication.  He is the author of more than thirty publications and dozens of abstracts.  He has lectured widely on ethics and gastrointestinal malignancies, and has been the principal investigator on seven grants.  In 2007, because of his work in creating connections in ethics between doctors and nurses, he was awarded the Victoria L. Champion Boundary Spanning Award from the Indiana University School of Nursing.  He has taught ethics to scores of multidisciplinary professionals and created the core curriculum taught to ethics fellows at the Fairbanks Center.

Education

  • The University of Chicago, B.A. (General Studies in the Humanities, General Honors and Special Honors, The College)
  • The University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, M.D.
  • Intern, The University of Chicago Hospitals, Department of Medicine. Chicago, Illinois
  • Resident, The University of Chicago Hospitals, Department of Medicine. Chicago, Illinois
  • Fellow, Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology, The University of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois
  • Fellow, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, The University of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois
  • Senior Fellow, Doctor-Patient Relationship Scholar, The MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, The University of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois

Representative Publications

  • Bandy RJ, Helft PR, Bandy RW, Torke AM. Medical Decision-making During the Guardianship Process for Incapacitated, Hospitalized Adults: A Descriptive Cohort Study. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2010 Apr 27 [epub ahead of print].

  • Helft PR, Cavaghan MK. The complexity of reproductive decisions for patients with advanced cancer: ethical and communicative dimensions. Journal of Supportive Oncology. 2010 Jan-Feb;8(1):45-8.

  • Johnson DA, Helft PR, Rex DK. CT and radiation-related cancer risk-time for a paradigm shift? Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2009 Dec;6(12):738-40.

  • Helft PR, Bledsoe PD, Hancock M, Wocial LD. Facilitated ethics conversations: a novel program for managing moral distress in bedside nursing staff. JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, & Regulation. 2009 Jan-Mar;11(1):27-33.

  • Helft PR, Eckles RE, Torbeck L. Ethics education in surgical residency programs: a review of the literature. Journal of Surgical Education. 2009 Jan-Feb;66(1):35-42.

  • Choi EK, Fredland V, Zachodni C, Lammers E, Bledsoe P, Helft PR. A proposal for standardization of brain death criteria: Medicine, ethics, and the law. Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. 2008 Winter;36(4):824-36, 611.

  • Helft PR. Hospice home nursing. Journal of Supportive Oncology. 2008 Sep-Oct;6(7):322.

  • Morrell ED, Brown BP, Qi R, Drabiak K, Helft PR. The Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Order: Associations with Advance Directives, Physician Specialty, and Documentation of Discussion 15 Years after the Patient Self Determination Act. Journal of Medical Ethics. 2008;34(9):642-7.

  • Flamme N, Terry C, Helft PR. The Influence of Psychosocial Evaluation on Candidacy for Liver Transplantation. Progress in Transplantation. 2008;18(2):89-96.

  • Helft PR. A new age for cancer information seeking: Are we better off now? (Editorial). Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2008;23(3):350-2.

  • Helft PR, Petronio S. Communication Pitfalls with Cancer Patients: "Hit and Run" Deliveries of Bad News. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2007;205(6):807-11.

  • Helft PR, Champion VL, Eckles RE, Johnson CS, Meslin EM. Cancer patients' attitudes toward the future research uses of their stored tissue. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. 2007;2(3):15-22.

  • Hartman AR, Helft P. The Ethics of CYP2D6 Testing for Patients Considering Tamoxifen. Breast Cancer Research. 2007;9(2):103-4.

  • Drabiak K, Wegner C, Fredland V, Helft PR. Ethics, Law, and Commercial Surrogacy: A Call for Uniformity. Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. 2007;35(2):300-9.

  • Helft PR, Daugherty CK. Are We Taking Without Giving in Return? The Ethics of Research-Related Biopsies and the Benefits of Clinical Trial Participation. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2006;24(30):4793-5.

  • Helft PR. An intimate collaboration: Prognostic communication with advanced cancer patients. Journal of Clinical Ethics. 2006;17(2):110-21.

  • Eckles R, Meslin E, Gaffney M, Helft PR. Medical ethics education: Where are we? Where are we going? Academic Medicine. 2005;80(12):1143-52.

  • Helft PR. Necessary Collusion: Prognostic Communication with Advanced Cancer Patients (letter). Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2005;23(23):7242.

  • Helft PR, Eckles RE, Daugherty CK. Use of the internet to obtain cancer information among cancer patients at an urban, county hospital. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2005;23(22):4954-62.

  • Helft PR. Necessary Collusion: Prognostic Communication with Advanced Cancer Patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2005;23(13):3146-50.

  • Helft PR, Ratain MJ, Epstein RA, Siegler M. Inside Information: Financial Conflicts of Interest for Subjects and other Non-investigator Insiders in Early Clinical Trials. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2004;96(9):656-61.

  • Helft PR, Hlubocky F, Wen M, Ratain MJ, Daugherty CK. Hope and awareness of prognosis among advanced cancer patients enrolled in early clinical trials of experimental agents. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2003;11(10):644-51.

  • Helft PR, Hlubocky F, Daugherty CK. American oncologists' views of Internet use by cancer patients: A mail survey of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) members. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2003;23(5):942-7.

  • Helft PR, Siegler M, Lantos J. The Rise and Fall of the Futility Movement. New England Journal of Medicine. 2000;343(4):293-6.

  • Helft PR, Siegler M, Lantos J. The Rise and Fall of the Futility Movement. New England Journal of Medicine. 2000;343(4):293-6.