Annual medical ethics conference focuses on health disparities

November 08, 2010

The 22nd annual conference of The MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago will be held at the University of Chicago Law School, 1111 E. 60th Street, on Fri., Nov. 12, from 1 to 5 pm, and Sat., Nov. 13, from 7:30 am to 5:15 pm.

Friday's sessions will focus on disparities in health and health care--at the local, national and global levels. Such disparities are increasingly viewed as not only social and political challenges but as ethical problems as well.

"Preventable deaths and disabilities--whether from treatable infectious diseases in Africa or from infant and maternal mortality in Chicago--demand engagement from the bioethics as well as the political communities," said conference director Mark Siegler, MD, the Lindy Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago. The organizers hope that the conference will focus interest and expand understanding of the multiple causes and vast consequences of disparities.

Speakers include Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman, PhD, on "The socioeconomic Determinants of Health; Peter Singer, MD, on "Health Disparities, Global Challenges, and Innovation; Harold Pollack, PhD, on "What Happens Now? Health Reform Before 2014;" and Eric Whitaker, MD, on "A Local Perspective on Health Disparities.

The second day offers reports from former fellows at the MacLean Center, who present updates on their current research, much of it involving disparities.

Siegler founded The MacLean Center in 1984. It quickly became the largest program in clinical ethics in the world. More than 250 physicians and other health professionals have trained at the MacLean Center, many of whom now hold professorships, endowed chairs and directorships of ethics programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The research conducted by former MacLean fellows has helped open the bioethics field to a new research approach that is now described as "the empirical turn" in bioethics.

The Center's aim is to foster a network of clinical scholars worldwide who use clinical ethics to improve the quality of patient care and patient outcomes. This year's conference remembers Stephen Toulmin, a University of Chicago professor from 1973 to 1986 in the Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Philosophy, and the Divinity School who worked closely with the ethics program. He died on December 4, 2009.

Although there is no fee for this conference, the organizers ask that attendees register online at Please contact Kimberly Conner at 773-702-1453 or email her at


1:00 - 3:15 Health Disparities: A Global Challenge

Chair: Mark Siegler, University of Chicago
1:05 Norman Daniels, Harvard University, Health Disparities and What We Owe Each Other
1:30 James Heckman, University of Chicago, The Socioeconomic Determinants of Health
1:55 Peter Singer, University of Toronto
Health Disparities, Global Challenges, and Innovation
2:20 A. Eugene Washington, University of California, Los Angeles, Eliminating Health Care Disparities in the Context of National
Health Reform
2:45 - 3:15 Q & A

3:45 - 5:45 Health Disparities and Domestic Health Policy
Chair: Lainie Ross, University of Chicago
3:45 Marshall Chin, University of Chicago, Current Challenges in Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care
4:05 Harold Pollack, University of Chicago, What Happens Now? Health Reform Before 2014
4:25 Preston Reynolds, University of Virginia, Primary Care: Health Disparities, Health Reform, and Title VII
4:45 Eric Whitaker, University of Chicago, The Urban Health Initiative: A Local Perspective on Health Disparities
5:05 - 5:45 Q & A

8:00 - 9:25 What is the Future of Pediatric Ethics?

Chair: Eric Kodish, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
8:00 Norman Fost, University of Wisconsin, Santayana Redux: The Future of Newborn Screening
8:15 Mark Mercurio, Yale University, The Future of Ethics in Neonatology
8:30 Lainie Ross, University of Chicago, The Future of Pediatric Genetic Testing
8:45 John Lantos, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Do We Still Need Pediatricians?
9:00 - 9:25 Q & A

9:45 - 11:15 Remembering Stephen Toulmin: How Medicine Saved the Life of Ethics
Chair: Daniel Sulmasy, University of Chicago
9:45 Al Jonsen, California Pacific Medical Center, Stephen Toulmin and the Development of Clinical Ethics
10:05 Steven Miles, University of Minnesota, Remembering Stephen
10:20 John Lantos, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Did Medicine Really Save the Life of Ethics?
10:35 Mark Siegler, University of Chicago, Did Ethics Really Save the Life of Medicine?
10:50 - 11:15 Q & A

11:15 - 12:35 Is Ethics Training Good Preparation for Leadership Roles in Health Care?
Chair: Peter Singer, University of Toronto
11:15 Laura Roberts, Chair, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine
11:30 Jerry Menikoff, Director, Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP), Department of Health and Human Services
11:45 Lois Nora, President and Dean Emeritus, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy
12:00 Peter Singer, CEO, Grand Challenges Canada and Director, McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, University of Toronto
12:15 - 12:35 Q & A

1:50 - 3:25 What Are the Goals and What Are the Limits of Palliative Care?
Chair: Peter Angelos, University of Chicago
1:50 Laurie Lyckholm, Virginia Commonwealth University, Postcards from Palliative Care
2:05 Farr Curlin, University of Chicago. The Goals and Limits of Palliative Sedation: Attitudes and Practices of U.S. Physicians
2:20 Susan Tolle, Oregon Health Sciences University, Does Completing POLST Forms Reduce Hospitalizations? Data from Three States
2:35 Savitri Fedson, University of Chicago, Palliative Care after Organ Transplantation
2:50 Daniel Sulmasy, University of Chicago, The Use and Abuse of the Rule of Double Effect
3:05 - 3:25 Q & A

3:45 - 4:55 Young Scholars
Chair: Caleb Alexander, University of Chicago
3:45 David Brush, University of Chicago, How do ICU Physicians Manage End-of-Life Conflicts with Surrogate Decision Makers?
3:55 Kruti Acharya, University of Chicago, Fragile X-Syndrome: Family Views on Disclosing Information
4:05 John Yoon, University of Chicago, Levels of Satisfaction and Burnout Among Primary Care Physicians: An Ethical Problem?
4:15 Margaret Moon, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Empirically-Based Curriculum Development for Resident Ethics Education
4:25 Andrew Aronsohn, University of Chicago, Different Conceptions of Risk in the Organ Market Debate
4:35 - 4:55 Q & A

5:00 - 6:00 Health Disparities in Transplantation and Rehabilitation Medicine
Chair: Stacy Lindau, University of Chicago
5:00 Milda Saunders, University of Chicago, Neighborhood Poverty, Racial Composition, and Renal Transplant Waiting List
5:10 Kathryn Moseley, University of Michigan, African American and White Disparities in Pediatric Kidney Transplantation: Unfortunate or Unjust?
5:20 Elisa Gordon, Northwestern University, Increasing Kidney Transplant Rates in Hispanic Patients
5:30 Kristi Kirschner, Northwestern University, Health Disparities in Chicago: Practicing Rehabilitation Medicine in Lawndale and on the Magnificent Mile
5:40 - 6:00 Q & A

University of Chicago Medical Center

Related Health Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Study evaluates new World Health Organization Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers
The World Health Organization developed the new Labor Care Guide to support clinicians in providing good quality, women-centered care during labor and childbirth.

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Spending on primary care vs. other US health care expenditures
National health care survey data were used to assess the amount of money spent on primary care relative to other areas of health care spending in the US from 2002 to 2016.

MU Health Care neurologist publishes guidance related to COVID-19 and stroke care
A University of Missouri Health Care neurologist has published more than 40 new recommendations for evaluating and treating stroke patients based on international research examining the link between stroke and novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Large federal program aimed at providing better health care underfunds primary care
Despite a mandate to help patients make better-informed health care decisions, a ten-year research program established under the Affordable Care Act has funded a relatively small number of studies that examine primary care, the setting where the majority of patients in the US receive treatment.

International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs
A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the US care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.

The Lancet Global Health: Improved access to care not sufficient to improve health, as epidemic of poor quality care revealed
Of the 8.6 million deaths from conditions treatable by health care, poor-quality care is responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths per year -- more than deaths due to insufficient access to care (3.6 million) .

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.

High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.

Read More: Health Care News and Health Care Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to