Past Events

  • Duke Hospital's History: A Conversation about Race and Memory

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    Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    Damon Tweedy, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD, Director, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine; Professor of Pediatrics and History


    From 1930 to the 1960s, Duke hospital’s wards were segregated by race. Did people of color truly receive “separate but equal” care? In what ways did the civil rights movement successfully challenge these inequities?  Did the racism associated with the Jim Crow era collapse, or re-appear in new forms?

    This dialogue between Duke faculty physicians Damon Tweedy and Jeff Baker builds on recent community lectures and provides an opportunity for participant Q&A with the speakers. Dr. Tweedy is author of Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine. Dr. Baker has been engaged in a project probing the intertwined history of Duke Hospital and the community of Durham.

    This event is cosponsored by School of Medicine Office for Faculty and the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine.

    See a recording of the talk.

  • Keepers of the House: A Documentary

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    Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    Panel discussion to follow.

    Lunch provided at NOON. Talk begins at 12:10pm.

    In this 15 minute documentary video, eight hospital housekeepers talk about their special human relationships with patients and their families and the ways in which they believe their work contributes to healing. A showing of this short film will be followed by a discussion of what the film teaches us about empathic communication, and how this video might be used in a teaching environment. We will also discuss the ways in which our daily actions as health care providers affect hospital housekeepers' sense of wellbeing, and how we might include them in the activities of the health care team.
  • Research Unbound: Seeking Ethical Solutions to New (and Old) Problems

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    Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 5:30pm
    • Endowed Lectureships
    Jeremy Sugarman, MD, MPH, MA, Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Bioethics and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

    Recent controversies such as the birth of the first gene-edited babies in China, unchecked uses of unproven stem cell-based therapies, clinical trials conducted without patient consent, and HIV research with vulnerable populations challenge existing approaches aimed at ensuring that research is ethically sound. New and creative solutions are needed to appropriately manage research that seems to be unbound.

  • The Ethics of Automating Informed Consent: A Comparative Study

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    Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Chris Simon, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine

    Informed consent has entered the digital age. Automated consent processes are replacing face-to-face (F2F) discussions of research. Is this a good thing? For whom? How do we advance the ethical and legal integrity of consent processes as the emphasis shifts to technological efficiency? Professor  Simon addresses these questions with the support of fresh data from a multisite randomized trial comparing electronic and F2F consent processes for genomic biobanks.

    See recording of Chris Simon's talk.

  • CANCELED - Smallpox Eradication 40 Years On: An Alternative Commemoration

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    Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Sanjoy Bhattacharya, PhD, Professor of History of Medicine; Director, Centre for Global Health Histories, University of York, United Kingdom


    due to travel complications from UK

    An effective vaccine caused health officials around the world to start dreaming about the prospect of smallpox eradication. In the mid-1960s, a series of US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and USAID- supported pilot programs in western and central Africa proved the efficacy of the freeze-dried vaccine and provided the strategic template for worldwide smallpox eradication. But was it really all so simple?

  • Could Poetry Save Doctoring?

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    Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Francis A. Neelon, MD, Associate Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine


    "Doctoring"-- the therapeutic interaction of health professionals with patients -- has two components:  1) transferring information; 2) establishing a healing relationship. Today, over-reliance on information transfer imperils the fragile balance of these components....

    See recording of Frank Neelon's talk.


  • Opening Reception: Exhibition Documenting Durham's Health History

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    Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm
    • Special Event
    Remarks by Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD, Director, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine

    How have racial health disparities in Durham been understood over the past century? To what extent have their structural roots been appreciated? What role has Duke Health played in this history?

  • Race, Medical Research, and Reparations

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    Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Terri Laws, PhD, MDiv, African and African American Studies and Religious Studies, University of Michigan-Dearborn

    What is the moral aim of medical research in the context of race-based health inequity and health disparity? The history of race in medical research is fraught with misinformation, deceit, and disproportionate suffering and burden-bearing.