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February 9, 2018

Obituary: Aviva Katz

Aviva KatzAviva L. Katz, a surgery faculty member in the School of Medicine known for her incisive analyses of ethical issues, including the ethical implications of the structure of medical education, died Jan. 17, 2018.

Raised in Brooklyn, Katz received her Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences from City College of New York in 1980. She earned her M.D. at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York in 1982, and an interdisciplinary Master of Arts in bioethics at Pitt in 2012.

She began her career as a fellow in surgery at Harvard Medical School, 1982-86, moving to the University of Michigan, 1990-93, and finally Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, prior to joining the Pitt faculty as an assistant professor of surgery in 2006. She was also a surgeon in the Department of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where she was director of the ethics consultation service. She was also vice chair of Pitt’s Internal Review Board and director of the Consortium Ethics Program.

Katz chaired the committee on bioethics for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and was a member and chair of the ethics and advocacy committee for the American Pediatric Surgical Association. She was named a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the AAP.

“Aviva was able to draw on her personal clinical experience and ethics expertise to help draft important policy and position statements for the institution and the profession,” said Lisa S. Parker, director of the University’s Center for Bioethics and Health Law, with which Katz was also affiliated. Parker recalled that Katz’s faculty work “demonstrated the keen insight into clinical ethics issues affecting pediatric patients and their families that made her an ideal director of the ethics consultation service at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Her wide-ranging interests made her an invaluable teacher and colleague.”

In a remembrance published by her husband, Daniel Weiner, on the American Pediatric Surgical Association website, he noted: “She was active in the community as a mentor for women interested in medicine and a coach (for the Science Olympiad and Odyssey of the Mind) in her local community. She presented programs in her school district on issues related to medicine and ethics. And, she loved her family; was so proud of her children and their accomplishments. Finally, she loved to ice skate. She was so excited when she got medical clearance to return to skating.”

In addition to her husband, she is survived by children Gabriel, Samuel, Channah and Shoshana, and two brothers. Contributions may be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 333 East Carson St., #441 E., Pittsburgh, PA 15219.


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