Advisory Board Member

Paul Menzel

Dr. Paul Menzel has published widely on moral questions in health economics, health policy, voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED), and advance directives for dementia.

Dr. Menzel taught philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University from 1971 to 2012, having been educated at Wooster, Yale, and Vanderbilt. Teaching widely in philosophy and cross-disciplinary curricula, he has also published specialized scholarly work in health care ethics, including two books on moral questions in health care economics, numerous articles on health system structure and health care reform, and a recently co-edited volume (2012) on the tension between treatment and prevention in health policy. Courses in the last decade of his teaching include Biomedical Ethics, Human Identity and Bioethics, Health and Social Justice, Business Ethics, Human Rights, and The Nature of Human Well-Being. He also served Pacific Lutheran University in various administrative positions, including Provost. He retired to Professor Emeritus in summer 2012.


“How quiet It is in this sick room Where on the bed A silent woman lies between two lovers – Life and Death ….”  

– Langston Hughes, “Sick Room” (1926)

From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, by Langston Hughes, edited by Arnold Rampersad with David Roessel, Associate Editor. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.

“I am drawn immediately to an organization that leads with a “completed life.” Death is more than just the end of life. It is one of the singularly important events in our existence, along with birth and a precious few others. As such, death should complete our lives – be brought into them, not merely end them. And what is then completed is a life. This focus on people as having lives, not just being alive, is required if we are to respect them as persons, including their advance directives at the end of life.”