McDonald Merrill Ketcham Lectureship and Award

In conjunction with the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Law School sponsors the annual McDonald-Merrill-Ketcham Memorial Lectureship and Award for Excellence in Law and Medicine.  Supported by a bequest to the two schools, this lectureship and award brings leading scholars and policy makers in the fields of law and medicine to the Indianapolis campus for the benefit of students, faculty, the bar and the medical community.

The inaugural program was held in November 1994. Award recipients and their articles are listed below.  Articles based on the lectures presented were published in the Indiana Law Review until 2002, at which time the lectures started being published in the Indiana Health Law Review.

» View the list of McDonald Merrill Ketcham Awardees

The Story of the Bequest

The story of this award and lectureship begins with a visionary alumna of Indiana University: Dorothy M. Ketcham. Miss Ketcham received her bachelor of arts in economics in 1914 and her master of arts in sociology the following year. She joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1921.  In 1922, she became director of social services at the University of Michigan Hospital. In this capacity, she saw the important role that medicine and law played in the lives of those whom she served. In 1928, she established a multifaceted workshop and recreational facility for children confined to the hospital. While at the university she also wrote several books, two of which are devoted to hospital law. Miss Ketcham’s affinity for the law grew out of her family’s close relationship with the legal system. Her grandfather, David McDonald, was a practicing attorney in Indianapolis, as well as a circuit judge. He was appointed to the United States District Court in 1864 where he served until his death. Dorothy’s father, William A. Ketcham, was a well known Indianapolis attorney. Prior to being admitted to the bar in 1869, he studied law with his father, John L. Ketcham and Judge David McDonald. William Ketcham was elected to the office of state attorney general in 1894 and served two terms. Miss Ketcham’s interest in health law extended beyond her scholarship. In a trust she established for herself and four of her sisters (Miss Flora McDonald Ketcham, Dr. Jane M. Ketcham, and Misses Lilla and Lucia Ketcham), she made a remainder gift to the Indiana University Foundation to be used to assist the university in developing programs that would foster a greater understanding and better relations between the professions of law and medicine. Miss Ketcham was especially interested in furthering the careers of young medical and law students and instilling in them an appreciation for both professions.  Miss Ketcham’s generous gift, named for her grandparents (Judge David McDonald, John L. Ketcham and Jane Merrill Ketcham), funds this prestigious lectureship and award for an individual who has demonstrated excellence in the fields of common interest to the two professions. It is fitting that the university honor Miss Ketcham’s wishes by bringing to our campus distinguished scholars and leaders who bridge the gap between law and medicine.