2-520 Moos Tower, East Bank Campus, University of Minnesota
Co-sponsors: Center for Bioethics, International Medical Education and Research Program (IMER), and the Student Committee on Bioethics, University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
East Bank Campus
516 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Speaker: Susan M. Wolf, JD
McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine & Public Policy; Faegre Baker Daniels Professor of Law, Faculty member, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota
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: Sarah Gollust, PhD
Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics; Assistant Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
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: Thaddeus Pope, JD, PhD
Director, Health Law Institute; Associate Professor of Law; Hamline University School of Law
Co-sponsored with Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences; and Law School, University of Minnesota
Speaker: Joan C. Tronto, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota; Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota
Co-sponsored with University of Minnesota Department of Political Science
Speaker: Senator Claire Ayer, Addison County, Huntington Buels Gore; Assistant Majority Leader; Chair, Senate Health and Welfare Committee
Co-sponsored with University of Minnesota School of Nursing and Law School
Hilde Lindemann, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, Michigan State University
Co-sponsored with University of Minnesota Department of Family Social Science and Medical School, Department of Pediatrics
Treatment decisions are not always guided by what is in the best interests of a pediatric patient is not in doubt: consider the very badly damaged baby whose parents painfully decide they must not consent to a costly course of treatments involving repeated hospitalizations that might prolong the infant’s life another year or two, because they live a half-day’s journey from the hospital and have three other young children at home. Such decisions have been defended by considering important interests of parents or siblings or sometimes grandparents that are taken to override the interests of the pediatric patient. Less ethical attention, however, has been paid to what is owed families—considered, not merely as the sum total of the individuals within them, but as morally valuable entities in themselves. Professor Lindemann found the exclusion of the family’s perspective from healthcare ethics peculiar, very widespread, and in need of remedy. In this talk she identified what is instrumentally and intrinsically valuable about a pediatric patient’s family, and argued that the family’s integrity, and therefore its goodness and soundness, can be put at risk when health care professionals make too many demands, or the wrong kind of demands, on it.
Douglas Diekema, MD, MPH, Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Ethics, Seattle, WA
Co-sponsored with University of Minnesota Medical School, Department of Pediatrics and Medical School, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health
Dr. Diekema discussed the case of “Ashley X”, a young girl with severe developmental delay whose parents requested treatment to attenuate her growth, a hysterectomy, and removal of her breast buds. He discussed the ethical reasoning in support providing those interventions, potential objections to the interventions, and implications for other similar cases.
Leili Fatehi, JD, University of Minnesota
Rapid advances in emerging fields of science and technology such as nanobiotechnology, genetic engineering, synthetic biology, and tissue engineering have vast potential in biomedical applications by enabling previously unimaginable abilities to control and alter biological processes and living systems. At the same time, these emerging fields present novel ethical challenges that are addressed by neither traditional biomedical ethics nor by traditional engineering ethics. The lecture addressed these ethical challenges emerging from the convergence of engineering and the life sciences, including disciplinary differences and gaps in how ethical implications and responsibilities are taught, perceived, approached, and institutionalized