EGR Past events
While the adoption of the electronic health record (EHR) seems to have improved the efficiency and safety of healthcare practices, it has also raised significant ethical concerns. Confidentiality issues related to data theft and hacking are often in the news. There are complaints of the computer’s intrusion into the clinician-patient relationship. Clinicians cite their frustration with the EHR, and some attribute professional burnout to their encounters with the EHR. How can Karl Marx help us understand the alienation providers experience when working with and for the EHR? Can the EHR be humanized?
Speaker: Don Postema, PhD, Program Director of Medical Bioethics, HealthPartners; Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics; Professor, Department of Philosophy, College of Arts & Sciences, Bethel University
This forum featured three professionals conducting work and research in different regions of Africa and on very different aspects of health and health care. Each of spoke about their work, with an emphasis on how ethics informs it and how their work derives new questions about what ethics means, for whom, and why. After discussion among the three, the audience participated in continuing to debate the meaning of ethics, and how the many issues relating to health care across Africa push us to consider ethics in new ways.
Panelists: Rajesh Panjabi, MD, MPH, CEO, Last Mile Health; Associate Physician, Division of Global Health Equity, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Siri Suh, MPH, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota; Michael Westerhaus, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota; Co-director SocMed; Medical Director, Center for International Health
Cosponsored by: African Studies Initiative | Department of African American and African Studies | Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility | Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change | Institute for Global Studies |Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies | Working Group on Health Disparities, School of Public Health
Dr. Sharp examined ethical dimensions of a major Federal research initiative in genetics. He described the research activities proposed and the current status of these new initiatives. Dr. Sharp considered ethical challenges related to data sharing, DNA biobanking, and reporting of research results to participants. Dr. Sharp also considered opportunities for situating bioethical analyses within the Precision Medicine Initiative.
Speaker: Richard R. Sharp, PhD, Professor, Biomedical Ethics and Medicine; Director, Biomedical Ethics Research Program, Mayo Clinic
In the Netherlands, end-of-life decisions are an important issue in societal debate. Euthanasia (the active ending of life by a physician on the patient’s explicit request) has become legalized as a consequence of this debate, but the debate continues. Is euthanasia allowed in dementia or in cases of elderly people for whom life has lost meaning? What is the relationship between euthanasia and palliative care? Sponsored by Department of Political Science and Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota.
Speaker: Guy A.M. Widdershoven, Professor, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine; Head of the Department of Medical Humanities, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam
Co-sponsors: Center for Bioethics, International Medical Education and Research Program (IMER), and the Student Committee on Bioethics, University of Minnesota
Speaker: Professor Cong Yali, Professor of Medical Ethics at Peking University Health Sciences Center
When President Obama announced the new Precision Medicine Initiative in January, he recognized the enormous potential of genomic research and the growing role of genomics in clinical care. Both genomic research and genomic medicine are loaded with challenging ethical, legal, and social issues. In a series of NIH-funded grants beginning in 2005, Prof. Susan Wolf has been leading work on the question of how and when should genomic research results and incidental findings be offered to research participants, patients, and families. More recently, she has collaborated with other NIH-funded investigators in the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) Consortium to develop a new model of the ethics of translational genomics. That model envisions a central role for return of results in propelling progress from research to clinical integration of genomic sequencing. Prof. Wolf will illuminate these cutting-edge issues, analyze ongoing debates, and address the future of genomics in medicine and public health. Co-sponsored with Law School, University of Minnesota.
Speaker: Susan M. Wolf, JD, Chair, Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences, McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine & Public Policy, Faegre Baker Daniels Professor of Law, Professor of Medicine
Health policy researchers often evaluate the social and economic consequences of chronic illness, but they rarely consider the implications of chronic illness on one important form of political participation: voting. If chronic illnesses—already unequally distributed in society—are associated with differential rates of voter turnout, then these inequalities in democratic representation could, in turn, produce further health inequity. In this talk, Gollust examined the associations between having diagnoses of five chronic conditions and turnout in the 2008 election. She discussed the implications of those findings within the context of health social movements, the role of health organizations in shaping political processes, and ethical questions about the boundaries of public health. Co-sponsored with Division of Health Policy & Management; and Political Science, University of Minnesota.
Speaker: Sarah Gollust, PhD Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics; Assistant Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota