Dr. Max Martin & Josephine Van Petten Halley

Dr. Max Martin & Josephine Van Petten Halley

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Dr. Max Martin & Josephine Van Petten  Halley

Dr. Max Martin Halley was born in Bremerhaven, Germany. His parents were both physicians and the family came to this country in 1935. He grew up in western New York state, graduated from Olean, NY High School in 1944, and enlisted in the US Army at age 17, prior to graduation. Max served in the military for three years, including one and a half years in Europe as a Special Agent of the Counter Intelligence Corp., with the rank of Warrant Officer.

Josephine Ann Van Petten was born in Lawrence, Kan., and grew up on her parents' farms. She graduated from Harveyville High School in 1949 and received a BS in Nursing from Kansas University (KU) in 1954. She served as an instructor in nursing at KU and Charity Hospital, in New Orleans. She and Max met at KU while she was a nursing student and he was an intern. They married in 1954. 

Max received a BA from Harvard College in 1949, and an MD from Harvard Medical School in 1953. Six years of postgraduate specialty training followed and consisted of an internship at KU Medical Center, residencies at Buffalo General Hospital and at Tulane University at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. He also completed fellowships in cardiovascular surgery at Tulane, and later at the Cleveland Clinic. 

Max and Jo, with two small children, moved from New Orleans to Topeka in 1959, where Max began his surgical practice. Jo became a homemaker with five children, and later worked as a realtor. She also served as a board member and president of Brewster Congregational Home, and on boards at First Congregational Church. She is an active member of PEO Chapter GJ. 

Max attended Washburn University School of Law while practicing surgery. He received his JD degree, graduating cum laude, in 1966, and was admitted to the Kansas Bar. He continued surgical practice. 

Max has served as an instructor in surgery at Buffalo University Medical School, Tulane University Medical School, and KU Medical School. He was appointed clinical assistant professor of surgery and clinical associate professor of the History of Medicine at KU, and a lecturer at Washburn University School of Law. He was a member of a number of medical organizations, most importantly the American College of Surgeons, where he was president of the Kansas chapter, governor for the state of Kansas, and served on several committees. He also served as chief of surgery at Stormont-Vail Hospital, and on various hospital committees. He implanted the first pacemaker in Topeka in 1964. He campaigned unsuccessfully for the Kansas House of Representatives in 1989-90 and returned to surgical practice until retirement in 2001. 

Max has always valued his legal education and utilized it to teach legal issues to physicians, and to promote a better understanding between the professions. He taught medical evidence at Washburn University School of Law and medical-legal course at KU's School of Medicine. He served as a chairman of the professional liability committees of the Kansas Chapter, American College of Surgeons, and the American College of Surgeons' Board of Governors. He was a member of the ACS Board of Regents professional liability committee and placed several articles in the ACS Bulletin. He was a member of the Board of Editors of Kansas Medicine and published articles on medical ethics and professional liability in this journal. 

In the 1960s, Dr. Halley published several articles, jointly with Professor William F. Harvey, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Kansas Bar Journal, and the Journal of the Kansas Medical Association, calling attention to the differences in the legal and medical definitions of death, a situation which created potential problems in the termination of life support or organ transplantation. The JAMA article caught the attention of national media, and helped generate the impetus for the Kansas legislature, and subsequently those of other states, to make the pronouncement of brain death lawful by statute. 

As a result of the medical liability insurance crises of the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Halley chaired a Kansas Medical Society special committee studying administrative compensations as a mechanism to prevent recurrence of such crises. He published over 50 journal articles and several book chapters dealing with professional liability and tort reform, as well as medical ethics and surgical topics. He was also a founder of the Institute for Healthcare and Law to further study these and other medical-legal issues. 

After more than two decades of research and discussions of tort reform and professional liability, Dr. Halley, as senior editor and contributor, together with Professors Robert J. Fowks and David L. Ryan, and Dr. F.C. Bigler, published a book entitled "Medical Malpractice: Systems and Proposals for Injury Compensation" (Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1989). The book presents and discusses the existing and proposed methods of compensating medical injuries. 

Dr. Halley was involved with the mentor program at Washburn Law, which connects first-year Washburn Law students with alumni. The Halleys have established a trust to create the Fowks-Halley-Van Petten Chair of Dispute Resolution, to be held by a professor who is primarily teaching in the area of dispute resolution outside the courtroom. 

Dr. Halley has enjoyed auditing University courses at Washburn in the Senior Audit Program, which he feels is widely appreciated and utilized in the community. 

Dr. and Mrs. Halley's family grew to include five children, two sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law, five grandchildren, one step granddaughter, and two step great-granddaughters. Among the five children are two physicians, one social worker, and two lawyers. All are successfully pursuing their own professions in Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Connecticut and California. All visit regularly at the Halley's home in Topeka each year.