Death of Dr. Henry Thompson, Nursing Ethicist

Dr. Henry Orrin Thompson, a scholar, ethicist, and pastoral counselor who led in the development of the ethics program of the School of Nursing --where he also collaborated with his wife, Professor Joyce Thompson--died on April 24 at the age of 65.

Dr. Thompson, a professor of Bible and ministry at the Unification Theological Seminary, was appointed to the adjunct faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 1981. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the School of Nursing, he was promoted to professor of ethics in the associated faculty in 1989.

During his years at the School of Nursing, Dr. Thompson was instrumental in developing ethics courses, in which he also took a major teaching role. A hallmark of these courses is their focus on theory and practice from an interdisciplinary perspective. "His unique background in archaeology, Biblical studies, pastoral counseling and world religions, as well as ethics, has had a major impact on course content," said a colleague. "As a teacher, colleague and friend, Dr. Thompson was highly regarded by faculty and students for his remarkable scholarly expertise, wit and and sense of humor. He will be deeply missed."

Dr. Thompson was a founding and active member of the School of Nursing Ethics Committee and also served on the Ethics Committee of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also edited the School of Nursing Bioethics newsletter.

A prolific writer, Dr. Thompson published as many as 30 to 50 book reviews each year, numerous journal articles, and several books. He collaborated frequently his wife, Dr. Joyce Thompson, and their 1991 textbook, Professional Ethics in Nursing, is widely recognized throughout nursing academia for its excellence.

In addition to his wife he is survived by two sons,Warren and Howard, and six grandchildren.


Volume 43 Number 32
April 29, 1997

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