Past Events

  • Emerson Lecture: Patients Need Doctors with Consciences

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    Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 5:45pm
    • Endowed Lectureships
    Victoria Sweet, MD, PhD

    Victoria Sweet is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a prize-winning historian with a PhD in history. In her lecture, she argues that the most powerful rule of conscience is the oldest--the Hippocratic Oath's formulation that doctors should enter the exam room solely for the benefit of their patients.

    See recording of Victoria Sweet's talk.

  • Documenting Durham's Health History: An Exhibition

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    Monday, April 22, 2019 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
    • Special Event
    Join us for a reception and exhibition examining the roots of health disparities in the "City 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?

    This exhibit, supported by a Duke Bass Connections grant, explores these questions...

  • Global War and Disease: The Making of Modern Bodies

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    Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Erica Charters, PhD, Associate Professor of the History of Medicine; Director, Oxford Centre for Global History, Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, The University of Oxford


    Erica Charters, PhD examines how war and disease intersect with state formation and state power, particularly in colonial contexts. Her 2014 monograph Disease, War, and the Imperial State traces how responses to disease shaped military strategy, medical theory...

  • Emerson Lecture: Medicine, Health, and the Suffering Soul

    Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 5:45pm
    • Endowed Lectureships
    John Swinton, PhD


    John Swinton, PhD is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland who for more than a decade worked as a registered nurse specializing in psychiatry and learning disabilities. He also worked for a number of years as a hospital and community chaplain. In 2004, he...

  • Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland

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    Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Jonathan M. Metzl, MD, PhD, Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry; Director, Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt University

    Physician and sociologist Jonathan M. Metzl traveled across America’s heartland examining the politics of racial resentment and its impact on public health. His newly published fourth book (March, 2019) is Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland.

    See recording of Jonathan Metzl's talk.

  • 2019 Lester Crown Symposium: Defining Death and Saving Lives

    Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 5:45pm to Friday, March 1, 2019 - 3:30pm
    • Conferences and Workshops

    Following the 2019 McGovern Lecture, to be delivered by Robert Truog, MD, this symposium brings leading experts to Duke to explore some difficult questions focusing on the definition of death and the future of vital organ transplantation.

    For more information, see the symposium website.

    Also, see recordings of Panel 1 talks & discussion, Panel 2 talks, and Panel 2 discussion.

  • 2019 McGovern Lecture - Defining Death: Persistent Problems and Possible Solutions

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    Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 5:45pm
    • Endowed Lectureships
    Robert Truog, MD, Harvard Medical School

    Robert Truog, MD is Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, Anaesthesiology and Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School. He also practices pediatric intensive care medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Truog has published more than 300 articles in bioethics and related disciplines.  He is co-author of Death, Dying, and Organ Transplantation (Oxford, 2012).  He lectures widely both nationally and internationally; and is an active member of numerous committees and advisory boards. He is the author of current national guidelines for providing end-of-life care in the intensive care unit. 

    See recording of Robert Truog's talk.

  • Challenges in Setting Thresholds for Understanding in Research Informed Consent

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    Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Kevin Weinfurt, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Population Health Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine

    Kevin Weinfurt, PhD is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Population Health Sciences in the Duke University School of Medicine. He is also professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Duke University Medical Center and a faculty member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Professor Weinfurt conducts research on measuring patient-reported outcomes, medical decision making, and bioethics. As an educator, he co-directs Duke's masters-level Clinical Research Training Program and has taught undergraduate courses in introductory psychology, judgment and decision making, the psychology of medical decision making; and graduate courses in multivariate statistics and patient-reported outcomes research.

    See recording of Kevin Weinfurt's talk.