Events Archive

Past events

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 6:30pm
MBA Header We are in the midst of the worst measles epidemic since it was declared to be eradicated in 2000.  There is greater vaccine hesitancy and refusal among parents, namely due to a perception that the risk of vaccine preventable diseases is low and that there are significant risks associated with vaccines.  Despite data to support the safety and efficacy of vaccines, there remains a small but vocal community of activists opposed to mandatory childhood vaccination. Dr. Jennifer Needle addresses how these misperceptions came to be, the impact they are having on public health today, and address two key ethical questions: 1) do parents have a moral duty to vaccinate their children and 2) what is the appropriate response from the medical community regarding parents who refuse to vaccinate their children?

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

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Health researchers have studied “stem cell tourism” to clinics in countries such as China, India, Mexico, Thailand, and the Ukraine but more recently, studies have found hundreds of clinics here in the U.S. selling unapproved and unproven stem cell interventions. Many of these clinics do not sell FDA-approved stem cell products or have credible  evidence supporting their marketing claims.  This direct-to-consumer approach to selling unproven and unlicensed cell-based products prompts troubling concerns about patient safety, the manipulation of hope in advertising, and the gap between the current state of stem cell research and the purported therapies these clinics market. In this talk, the speaker describes the U.S. direct-to-consumer marketplace for stem cell interventions and explore ethical issues related to the increase in U.S. clinics selling stem cell treatments. The presentation also covers regulation of stem cell-based products, FDA enforcement activity, and lawsuits filed by former patients of U.S. stem cell clinics. 

Speaker:  Leigh Turner, PhD, Associate Professor, Center for Bioethics, Associate Professor, Dept of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems, Associate Professor, School of Public Health

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

We know that what impacts health lies largely outside of normal healthcare delivery. We call these the negative social determinants of health. One in six people with low incomes need legal help to overcome these determinants and improve their health. Restoring food stamps when wrongfully denied to a diabetic can eliminate the need for a kidney transplant. Demanding that a landlord remove mold from substandard housing can reduce the need for emergency asthma care. Such interventions can also reduce overall healthcare costs. Healthcare Legal Partnerships exist to meet needs like these by adding lawyers to the healthcare team in various settings. The University of Minnesota helped pioneer this model of care in the 1990s. The HLP Collaborative in Minnesota was founded by nursing educator Dr. Eileen Weber, who is also an attorney, so HLPs in our region can share best practices and increase awareness, education and outreach of this effective interprofessional care model. Her presentation offers HLP strategies and resources to help those who work to advance health equity.

Upper Midwest Healthcare Legal Partnership Learning Collaborative Report

Speaker: Eileen Weber, DNP, JD, BSN, PHN, RN, Clinical Associate Professor, Population Health and Systems Cooperative

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Friday, April 19, 2019 - 12:15pm

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, addresses this question from the perspectives of these stakeholders in the context of adolescent advance care planning. She reviews the literature on the benefits and barriers to effective advance care planning, discusses clinician, patient, and surrogate perspectives on medical decision-making in adolescent patients, and discusses future areas of research to support adolescent patients and their families in making informed medical decisions. This event was co-sponsored by the Department of Pediatrics in the University of Minnesota's Medical School. 

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


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

In this talk, Dr. Benya discussed the recent National Academies report that examines the effect of sexual harassment on women in scientific, technical, and medical fields in academia. Dr. Benya shared strategies and practices that can be used to prevent and address this discriminatory behavior, and discussed the research that supports these approaches. This event was 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.

Speaker: Frazier Benya, MA, PhD, Senior Program Officer, Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Policy and Global Affairs Division, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Friday, March 1, 2019 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

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. Dr. Bryan A. Sisk 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. This activity was designed for physicians and other healthcare professionals. By the end of this talk, attendees are 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  

Speaker: Bryan A. Sisk, MD, MSCI, Clinical Fellow, Hematology and Onocology, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Friday, April 6, 2018 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

3-100 Mayo, U of M East Bank Campus

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.

Speaker:  Andrew Jameton, PhD, Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics, UMN; Professor Emeritus, College of Public Health University of Nebraska Medical Center

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 6:00pm
Opioid Addiction in America
This presentation identified ways that inter-professional community-engaged research, scholarship, and practice can be useful in combating opioid use disorder. Participants learned to articulate the benefits of interprofessional community coalitions in mobilizing against opioid use disorder, explain the goals of treatment courts and key components of drug courts in addressing opioid use disorder and describe multiple methods of engaging with health care systems and professionals to improve care for patients with opioid use disorder. Dr. Palombi was followed by a personal story of addiction. Most discussions of the opioid crisis tend to create a gap between “addicts” who are most likely to die of overdose, and “non-addicts” who are just an accident away from opioid addiction. Matthew F. Filner is a professor of political science who discussed how and why his serious accident turned into opioid addiction.

Speakers: Laura Palombi, Pharm.D., MPH, MAT, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota Duluth; Matthew Filner, Political Science, Metropolitan State University 


Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 6:00pm
Opioid Addiction in America
Sarah Gollust, PhD discussed what is known about public perceptions of the opioid crisis and particularly what policy solutions Americans find acceptable. She also discussed the roles of the media in reinforcing certain policy narratives and the important role of stigmatizing attitudes toward opioid users in beliefs about the crisis and in considerations of its future trajectory.

Speaker: Sarah Gollust, PhD Associate Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health; Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 6:00pm
Opioid Addiction in America
How did the opioid epidemic become a major killer in Minnesota? More Minnesotans die from opioid overdoses than in traffic accidents! In this healthiest of states, some Minnesota groups have the highest rates of opioid overdose deaths in the nation.  Attendees engaged in a lively discussion of how Minnesota got to this point (national and state trends) and learned what opioids and emerging synthetics are driving the increases in deaths, addiction, and newborns needing help.  

Speaker: Dana Farley, Minnesota Dept. of Health Alcohol and Drug Prevention Policy Director