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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Membership Committee · 03/15/2023
    ANTHONY SHAW - In Memoriam
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Membership Committee · 03/15/2023
      @Membership Committee
      Please feel free to share any thoughts, memories and photos of Anthony from our PAPS gatherings.
      October 31, 1929 - February 8, 2023

      Anthony Shaw, MD, pioneering pediatric surgeon, eminent medical ethicist and leading clinical diagnostician of child abuse died at his home in Pasadena, CA, in the early hours of February 8th at age 93.

      A graduate of Bronx High School of Science and Harvard College, Dr. Shaw earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1954 and went on to train at New York's Babies Hospital and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was among the first cohort of medical residents to cultivate the distinct skills required to correct fatal congenital abnormalities in newborn infants and to qualify as dedicated pediatric surgeons.

      Dr. Shaw's care for children went beyond the operating theater to those who presented with injuries inflicted by parents or caretakers. Dr. Shaw was early to adopt clinical criteria distinguishing between child abuse and accidental injury or self-harm. As he became aware of the magnitude of the need, Dr. Shaw collaborated with social workers, judges and most notably his wife Iris Azian Shaw, a family court lawyer, to draft mandatory reporting laws, many of which have been adopted nationwide, requiring all who work with children to report suspected cases of child abuse to law enforcement authorities.

      Throughout his professional life and well past his retirement from surgery, Dr. Shaw served as an expert witness, trusted by defense and prosecution alike to provide dispassionate professional testimony in challenging cases of suspected abuse. Keenly aware of the ethical quandaries doctors frequently confront, Dr. Shaw was a prolific contributor to professional journals on the subject of medical ethics. He served on the National Bioethics Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics as a Fellow of the Academy, and as Founder-Member of the American Pediatric Surgical society, Dr. Shaw chaired its ethics committee from 1980-1988. Dr. Shaw also served on and chaired the Medical Ethics Committee at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1984 to 1989. In each of these positions he championed compassion, and was much sought as a speaker, appearing on CBS's 60 Minutes and before the United States Congress to discuss the ethical consequences of controversial medical interventions.

      An ardent proponent of universal health care for children, Dr. Shaw, as Professor of Surgery first at the University of Virginia and then at UCLA, inspired generations of medical students and surgery residents with his commitment to children and families least able to afford health care. Having treated hundreds of child victims of trauma, Dr. Shaw became a strong advocate for child safety programs. His legacy of service includes 2.5 years as Captain in the United States Army and a volunteer surgeon aboard the USS Hope in what was then called Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

      He balanced the serious nature of his work by expressing his unique brand of medical humor via scores of popular articles he wrote for Medical Economics. His professional dedication was exemplified by the fact that he continued working at UCLA/Olive View Hospital for years after his employment contract had ended, even though he was doing the same job as when he was being paid. He stopped working only after sustaining an accidental head injury at age 86.

      Anthony Shaw was born Anthony Hyman Schwartz in Shanghai, China in 1929 to journalist Bruno Schwartz and Regina Hyman Schwartz. Although Dr. Shaw devoted his professional life to the care of other people's children, he was fully dedicated to his own and to his grandchildren, all of whom deeply mourn his passing. His lifelong passion for photography and the joy he took in chronicling his family throughout the decades, provides an archive rich with images of a joyful, purposeful life. Dr. Shaw's wife Iris Azian predeceased him; he is survived by his sister Judith Hyman of West Palm Beach FL; his three children Brian Anthony Shaw, MD of Colorado Springs, CO (Lisa Flaherty); Diana Shaw Clark (Simon), London UK; and Daniel Aram Shaw (Isa Catto), Woody Creek, CO; eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Dr. Shaw's close friendships and goodwill were reciprocated by too many people to recognize here, but the Shaw Family would like to thank Dr. John Benfield for his singular steadfast friendship and support as Dr. Shaw's health failed in his later years.
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