Past Events

EGR Past events

Friday, November 22, 2019 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Moos 2-530, 515 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 | East Bank Campus

Washington Ave Parking Ramp is the closest parking option. If using the lightrail, get off at the East Bank Station

Headshot of Thaddeus PopeEach year, 44,000 Minnesotans die. Nearly one-fourth die from cancer. Many of these patients want to control the timing and manner of their death. Today, terminally ill patients have several “exit options” in Minnesota. But they generally do not have access to medical aid in dying (MAID). This may be changing. Across the country, access to MAID has been in a rapid state of flux. Ten years ago, MAID was available in only two U.S. jurisdictions. Today, it is available in ten. This presentation reviews the history, status, and prevalence of MAID in the United States. It also summarizes ten new points of ethical debate over whether traditional eligibility requirements and safeguards are too permissive or too restrictive.
You can find a recording of this talk here

Speaker: Thaddeus Pope, JD, PhD, Director, Health Law Institute, Mitchell - Hamline School of Law; Affiliate Faculty Member, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota. Learn more about Professor Pope here.

Image with the words: Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota Ethics Grand Rounds with a black icon three people and a healthcare plus sign above them
Friday, October 11, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Moos 2-530 | East Bank Campus | 515 Delaware St SE

When delivery of an extremely premature baby is anticipated at 22 to 24 weeks of gestation, the standard of care is for a specialist in Neonatology to consult with families to determine family-centered goals of care to best determine whether to provide intensive resuscitation or comfort measures only for the baby at time of birth.  Research demonstrates highly variable apporaches to counseling practices across institutions.  This talk will highlight existing knowledge regarding shared decision-making in this setting.  Further, it will describe a qualitative study aimed at understanding the mechanics and substance of these consultations in order to develop more effective strategies for individualized and family-centered decision-making. 

Speaker: Chris Collura, MD, MA, Neonatology, Pediatric Palliative Care, Bioethics, Mayo Clinic Children’s Center

The Center for Bioethics' Ethics Grand Rounds feature noted local, national, and international bioethics scholars who lecture on a wide variety of ethical issues in health care and the life sciences. The lectures are held monthly over the noon hour during the academic year on the East Bank campus of the Unversity of Minnesota. Lectures are free and open to the public. RSVP here

Image with the words: Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota Ethics Grand Rounds with a black icon of the vitruvian man
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Headshot of Amos Laar, PhDJoin researcher, ethicist, and public health advocate Amos Laar, PhD as he connects the dots between HIV and the social, cultural, ethical and human rights issues systemically integrated with the disease in Ghana. Laar is a native of Ghana and a Senior Lecturer of the University of Ghana with academic training in Nutrition, Public Health as well as an MA in Bioethics from the University of Minnesota. For his MA, Laar's completed a masters' thesis in 2014 on ethically appropriate responses to HIV in Ghana. Laar was recently featured in the Lancet's Diabetes and Endocrinology journal for his nutrition work on regulating unhealthy foods in Ghana. This talk will bring a social public health perspective to Ghana’s national response to HIV with a focus on how these variables contribute to HIV transmission as well as disease and implementation outcomes. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility and the School of Public Health
A recording of this talk can be found here. 
The Center for Bioethics' Ethics Grand Rounds feature noted local, national, and international bioethics scholars who lecture on a wide variety of ethical issues in health care and the life sciences. The lectures are held monthly during the academic year over the lunch hour on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota. Seminars are free and open to the public. No need to RSVP. 
Ethics Grand Rounds header with fuzzy background
Friday, April 19, 2019 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Moos Tower 2-520 515 Delaware Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55455

Speaker: Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH | Assistant Professor, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota

This event occurred on Friday April 19 as part of the Ethics Grand Rounds series. You can find the recording of this event here.

Advance care planning supports patient-centered decision-making by discussing goals, values, and preferences for future medical care.  This process involves three key stakeholders: the patient, their surrogate decision-maker, and their clinicians. How do the stakeholder roles change when the patient is an adolescent who has the capacity but not the legal right to make medical decisions?  Dr. Jennifer Needle, a Pediatric Intensive Care physician from the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital and faculty member in the Center for Bioethics, will address this question from the perspectives of these stakeholders in the context of adolescent advance care planning. She will review the literature on the benefits and barriers to effective advance care planning, discuss clinician, patient, and surrogate perspectives on medical decision-making in adolescent patients, and discuss future areas of research to support adolescent patients and their families in making informed medical decisions.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Pediatrics in the University of Minnesota's Medical School.

No reservation required. Questions? Contact the coordinator at:


Friday, March 8, 2019 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Mayo 3-100 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN

Join us on Friday March 8 for an Ethics Grand Rounds talk with our alum, Dr. Frazier Benya: 

 Ethics Grand Rounds header with fuzzy backgroundDr. Benya will discuss the recent National Academies report that examines the effect of sexual harassment on women in scientific, technical, and medical fields in academia. Dr. Benya will share strategies and practices that can be used to prevent and address this discriminatory behavior, and discuss the research that supports these approaches.

No reservation required. Questions? Contact the coordinator at:

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota School of NursingThe Center for Women in Medicine and Science, and the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine department

Click here to access event flyer

Ethics Grand Rounds header with fuzzy background
Friday, March 1, 2019 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Moos Tower 2-690
515 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455 

One hour of CEU credit is available for this event.  Registration is free but required. Register here. 

Informed consent requires that research participants understand the study under consideration and appreciate its implications for their interests. Therapeutic misconception – which occurs when individuals confuse the purposes of clinical research with standard clinical care – compromises informed consent. Clinical Pediatrics Fellow Dr. Bryan A. Sisk of Washington University expands the discussions beyond therapeutic misconception in clinical trials by explaining multiple ways in which understanding and appreciation of information about a clinical trial can be undermined. He offers a framework of therapeutic misperceptions to assist researchers in managing challenges to the informed consent process. By the end of this talk, attendees will be able to do the following: 

1. Identify two components of decisional capacity
2. Discuss challenges of therapeutic misperceptions in the clinic-research setting 
3. Explore a framework of therapeutic misperceptions  

This activity is designed for physicians and other healthcare professionals.

Assorted light snacks and beverages will be provided.

Parking: The closest parking options are Washington Avenue Ramp  and East River Road Garage 

ADA Access info: Access via east side entrance and south side power door entrance, Access via tunnel from Phillips-Wangensteen building, Elevators, Adapted restrooms 


Friday, April 6, 2018 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

3-100 Mayo, U of M East Bank Campus

Speaker:  Andrew Jameton, PhD

Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics, UMN; Professor Emeritus, College of Public Health University of Nebraska Medical Center

The background to justice in bioethics revolves around fair access to costly health care resources. Meanwhile, social movements emphasize economic, racial, and identity inequalities within the United States. The demands of climate change add conceptions of justice: environmental justice, intra-specific justice, global inequality, differential responsibility for climate change, and generational justice. How are we to sort out these different emphases? Meanwhile, the rate of climate change is accelerating, and 27 years of negotiations has yielded no actual reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. While we argue, inevitable misery is mounting up unjustly for young people and future generations.

Nneka Sederstrom
Friday, November 10, 2017 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

3-100 Mayo, U of M East Bank Campus

The Girl with the DNR Tattoo
Presented by: Nneka Sederstrom, PhD, MPH, MA, FCCP, FCCM
Director, Clinical Ethics Department, Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota and Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics

What truly is a patient's right to self-determine? Can an advance directive take any form? This talk will look at the complexities of autonomous decision making and end of life through the eyes of a young adult expressing her wishes in the form of a tattoo.

Jerome Singh
Friday, September 15, 2017 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

2-690 Moos Tower, U of M East Bank Campus

Vector-Borne Diseases and Gene Drive
 Jerome Singh, BA, LLB, LLM, PhD, MHSc, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN); Joint Center for Bioethics, University of Toronto

Prof. Singh provides Ethical, Legal, Social Issues (ELSI) support to the Gates Foundation and its partners on gene drive research and its applications. In short, using a promising new technology called CRISPR/Cas9 to do targeted genome editing on mosquitos so that they produce male offspring (thus driving the species to extinction and, in the process, eliminating the spread of a disease), scientists will soon be field-testing these GM mosquitos in various settings. As you can imagine, this technology raises several ELSI issues 

  • Do we have the moral right to alter ecosystems? 
  • How do we deal with non-consensual communities or individuals in a field trial context, how do we engage with communities regarding this technology?
  • How do deal with reparations if a field trial goes wrong, etc.   
Jochen Vollmann
Friday, July 21, 2017 - 12:45pm to 2:00pm

5-125 Moos Tower, U of M East Bank campus

Presented by:  Jochen Vollmann, MD, PhD

Professor, Medical Ethics, Director, Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, and President, Center for Medical Ethics, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Palliative care is an innovative and growing field focussing on life-threatening illness and on the relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual. In this “holistic” approach palliative care differs from science based modern medicine and shows similarities to other “holistic” approaches to the patient as a subject as well as to pre-modern medicine. Professor Vollmann discusses from his ongoing research palliative care exceptionalism and a broader perspective on end of life care and modern medicine and its’ consequences for future health care.

Seminars are free and open to the public.