Katherine Irene Pettus, PhD

Katherine Irene Pettus, PhD

International Associate Faculty, The Institute for Palliative Medicine
at San Diego Hospice, San Diego, California

E-mail: kp91@TaosNet.com

Katherine has worked for peace and justice in the anti-nuclear movement, the Central American solidarity movement, and the environmental movement for most of her life. She is a patient care volunteer at San Diego Hospice and a graduate of the Metta Institute for Contemplative End of Life Care. After living in Managua during the early 1980’s and working as a translator for the Council of State, she returned to the US to do her graduate work in International Relations at Columbia University in New York. She was awarded her doctorate in political theory from Columbia after successfully completing her dissertation on the history and practice of felony disenfranchisement. Having taught political theory and American politics at Columbia, Barnard College, and several universities in New Mexico, she moved to San Diego to study Health Law, with a specialty in palliative care and international law, at the University of California San Diego. She is deeply committed to the success of the Leadership Development Initiative at the Institute for Palliative Medicine and is writing a book on palliative care and political theory, to be published by SUNY Press in 2013. Her research focuses on the social, ethical, and political consequences of the international narcotics control regime.

Education / Honors

  • PhD, Political Theory and American Politics, Columbia University, New York, 2002
  • President’s Fellow, Columbia University, New York, 1998-2002
  • Masters in Philosophy, Columbia University, New York, 1998
  • Master of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York, 1997
  • History prize, University of Sydney, 1976
  • Bachelor of Arts (History and Law), University of Sydney, Australia 1976

Key Publications

  • Palliative Care, the Third Way: Honoring and Healing the Body Politic SUNY Press, 2013 Forthcoming
  • Palliative Care: Ancient Virtues in Modern Praxis, Advance Directives Edition, Springer, In Press 2013
  • Govern-mentality: A critique of Diana Prah Ruger’s ‘Global Health Justice and Governance’, American Journal of Bioethics, 2012
  • Rhetoric and the Road to Hell: The International Narcotics Regime and Access to Essential Medicines, Bull Health L Policy, 2012
  • Total Pain and Global Health Ethics, San Diego physician and San Miguel Physician, 2012
  • Ethnic Disparities in US End of Life Use of Hospice, Bull Health L Policy, 2012
  • The Supreme Court Cases and Access to Palliative Care, Pain Policy Studies Group, Univ of Wisconsin, 2012
  • Felony Disenfranchisement in America: Historical Origins, Institutional Racism, and Modern Consequences, SUNY Press, In Press 2013
  • Changing the American End of Life Conversation, Advance Care Planning: Communicating about matters of life and death, Springer Publishers, In Press 2013
  • Felony Disenfranchisement in America: An Ancient Practice in a Modern Polity Leo Balk Publications, 2005
  • “Ecofeminist Citizenship” Hypatia 12, 1997

Key Presentations

  • Changing the End of Life Care Conversation in America with Helen Chapple PhD, Association for Death Education Counseling (ADEC) Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA, 2012
  • Praxis and Legitimacy: The Ethic of Palliative Care and the International Narcotics Control Regime, Western Political Science Association Conference, Portland OR, 2012 and Southwest Political Science Association Conference, San Diego, 2012
  • The International Narcotics Control Regime: History and Politics, University of California San Diego, 2012
  • Delivery of hospice and palliative care in a resource limited country: practical and ethical dimensions, University of California San Diego, 2012
  • International Law and Access to Opioids for Palliative Care, California Western School of Law, UCSD
  • No Country for Old Men: Hospice and Palliative Care in Uganda, Student Society for Medical Ethics, UCSD, San Diego, 2012
  • Palliative Care: What it is, how to access it, San Diego County Council, on Aging, San Diego, 2012
  • Global Health Ethics and Access to Essential Medicines, University of California San Diego, 2012
  • Opioid Abuse and Diversion: Physicians and Legitimate Pain Patients, Grand Rounds, UCSD Hillcrest Medical Center, San Diego, 2012
  • Prescription Drug Abuse and Diversion. Ethical Issues for Physicians, Tough Cases Bioethics Series, UCSD Hillcrest Medical Center, San Diego, 2012
  • Palliative Care as a Late Modern Citizenship Right, American Political Science Association Conference, Seattle, WA, 2011
  • Embodied Leadership for Palliative Care Mentors” Institute for Palliative Medicine LDI Training , San Diego, 2011


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