Events Archive

Past events

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

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.

Speaker: Nneka Sederstrom, PhD, MPH, MA, FCCP, FCCM, Director, Clinical Ethics Department, Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota and Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics

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

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.   

Speaker:  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

Jochen Vollmann
Friday, July 21, 2017 - 12:45pm to 2:00pm

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. 

Speaker:  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

Jon Merz, MBA, JD, PhD
Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Waivers of informed consent for research participation are permitted under the Common Rule as well as the Exception from Informed Consent (EFIC) for emergency research rule. We examine waivers as embodiments of legal privilege, which permit actors to violate legal norms in furtherance of greater social goods. The emergency privilege, which allows a caregiver to provide emergency medical care to an incompetent victim of an accident, is the clearest example. But fundamental to the privilege to acting without consent is the presumption that reasonable persons in the patients' position would agree, if capable, and that no evidence exists that the particular patient would not agree. An assessment of what is known about participation and refusal rates in research show that the presumption with respect to standard care is not applicable to research. This suggests that, while researchers may assert the social utility of their studies are high enough to justify waivers,there is reason to suspect that many who would be enrolled under a waiver of consent would not want to be enrolled.Our analysis suggests that waivers should be rare, IRBs and researchers must explicitly address study acceptability, and it should be incumbent upon researchers to establish by clear, sound evidence that proposed studies would be acceptable in the community at large and the target population.

Speaker: Jon Merz, MBA, JD, PhD, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Emma Bedor talk
Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

As our day-to-day lives are increasingly reliant upon (and enmeshed with) digital platforms, it is not surprising that the ways we address and manage our health generally, and mental health in particular, are increasingly digitized as well. Our culture’s generally favorable attitude toward digital solutions for everyday problems has led to the emergence of a digital mental health industry, which includes smartphone applications (“apps”) and telemental health services.

New and largely unregulated, the digital mental health industry presents its toolsets as affordable and a cost and time-effective alternative to many of the problems and barriers associated with the treatment of mental illness: clinician and specialist scarcity, treatment unaffordability, and the geographic remoteness of rural patients. Through a combination of fieldwork and interview analysis, this research addresses these claims and the future of the industry, with findings that are relevant to medical practitioners, technologists, researchers, mental health advocates and activists, and others whose work explores the connections between technology and medicine.

Speaker: Emma Bedor Hiland, PhD Candidate, Department of Communication Studies, University of Minnesota

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
This year-long series examined the politics and health outcomes of marginalized communities’ experiences with State violence within and beyond the United States. Across three events highlighting the intersections of race and police brutality, refugees and asylum seekers, and campus rape culture, we address the following questions:
  • What factors combine to structure particular relations with negative health outcomes?
  • What are the health outcomes broadly defined of State actions like police violence, detention, or deportation?
  • What combination of political, social, and economic change is needed to positively reconfigure how institutions address marginalized populations?

We invited community members, human rights lawyers, health care professionals, and activists to join together in deliberating issues, networking, and finding potential paths toward better policies and health outcomes.

Dismantling Rape Culture Programming
On Saturday March 25, The Center for Bioethics, along with the Institute for Advanced Study and the department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, hosted a half-day conference to discuss the critical topic of campus rape culture.
At the event, Dismantling Campus Rape Culture, representatives from the Aurora Center, the Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the Office of Orientation and First Year Programs, and the Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life came together to discuss their respective departments roles and perspectives on campus rape culture, both in response to and prevention of sexual violence on campus. Following the panel of university representatives, student survivors of sexual assault were joined with sexual violence activist Sarah Super and MSA President Abeer Syedah to discuss their experiences and perspectives as students on the UMN campus.
Audience participants added to the dialogue bringing both nuance and reflection through their experiences as students, advocates, and administrators. Following the panel portion of the event, participants attended breakout sessions in which they engaged with the following topics: Bystander Intervention, Trauma-Informed Leadership, and Undoing the Structure of Rape Culture. Attendees were invited to connect with various organizations both on and off campus at the resource fair while also enjoying the ever-delicious Afro-Deli.
The Center for Bioethics looks forward to continuing the conversation around policy advancements to address the issue of rape culture on campus as well as evolving more programming that highlights interdisciplinary ethical issues across campus
Deborah E. Laxon
Friday, March 10, 2017 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

How does a non-medically trained individual respond when life support no longer supports life? Using her own real life example, Deborah brings the audience on her journey as she learned to navigate the complexities of the medical world in order to honor her husband’s choices regarding medical care at end-of-life.

Speaker: Deborah Day Laxson, Founder of the Health Care Agent Literacy Project and author of the award winning book The Gray Zone: When Life Support No Longer Supports Life."

Friday, February 10, 2017 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

A disappearing arctic ice cap. Rising oceans. Once in a century floods are occurring annually, even as deserts expand. Plastic and chemicals cover the seas and lands. Pollinating bees are disappearing as agriculture defends the chemicals that kill them. Tropical diseases are migrating north into temperate zones that are warming to greet new species of mosquitos. Some say we are living in an “Anthropocene Epoch” where humans rather than natural forces are transforming the planet. Does bioethics have anything useful to say? Dr. Miles explored the history and future directions for bioethics. This talk was based on a collaboration with Susan Craddock, PhD. 

Speaker: Steven Miles, MD, Professor and Maas Family Endowed Chair in Bioethics, Center for Bioethics; and Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 6:00pm
Food Justice and Bioethics
The cofounders of Appetite For Change, a nonprofit organization based in North Minneapolis [told] their stories of how they came to the work of Food Justice. Michelle, a recovering Public Defender with a Bioethics degree and Princess, a refugee from Chicago and Teacher [spoke] about the mission of Appetite For Change: using food as a tool for building health, wealth and social change. They [explored] the various ethics issues that arise in their work and how the field of Bioethics can be of service to, and inform, the work of food justice activists worldwide. 
Speakers: Michelle Horovitz, JD; Princess Titus, Appetite for Change
Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 8:30am
This year-long series examined the politics and health outcomes of marginalized communities’ experiences with State violence within and beyond the United States. Across three events highlighting the intersections of race and police brutality, refugees and asylum seekers, and campus rape culture, we address the following questions: 
  • What factors combine to structure particular relations with negative health outcomes?
  • What are the health outcomes broadly defined of State actions like police violence, detention, or deportation?
  • What combination of political, social, and economic change is needed to positively reconfigure how institutions address marginalized populations?

We invited community members, human rights lawyers, health care professionals, and activists to join together in deliberating issues, networking, and finding potential paths toward better policies and health outcomes.

CCBE Poster

Our panels of human rights lawyers, health care professionals, activists, and refugees discusses issues impacting refugee, asylum seeking, and undocumented communities. Along with panel presentations, we had opportunities to network during lunch and share insights, experiences, and potential paths to better political, health, and healthcare outcomes. This event featured:

  • Harsha Walia, South Asian social justice activist, facilitator, journalist and legal researcher based in Vancouver (best known for co-founding the Vancouver chapter of No One is Illegal)
  • Ilhan Omar, Director of Policy & Initiatives –Women Organizing Women (WOW) Network, and Candidate for State Representative – 60B 
  • Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, Executive Director, NAVIGATE MN 
  • Barbara Frey, JD, Director, Human Rights Program, University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts
  • Fartun Weli, Founder and Executive Director, Isuroon

This event was co-sponsored by: The Race, Indigeneity, Gender, and Sexuality Initiative & PRAXIS Institute for Community Health and Education