Past Events

  • Medicine as Remembering: The Bodies We Touch, The Stories We Tell

    Brian Volck cropped.jpg
    Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Brian Volck, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hospital Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


    At the heart of clinical medicine lies the history and physical, rendering in words the patient’s experience and the practitioner’s sensory impressions in search of a diagnosis and therapeutic plan. The clinician starts with a body and ends with a story: a means to re-member the patient for herself and her colleagues, a foundation for any healing work. Using clinical encounters, poetry, and medical narrative, Dr. Volck explores medicine as attentive presence and storied practice, an ongoing dance of observation, action, and memory.

  • The Art of Falling: What Narratives Written by Older Adults Reveal about Human Balancing Acts

    thrailkill_jane cropped.jpg
    Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Jane Thrailkill, PhD, Director, English MA Program in Literature, Medicine and Culture and Health Humanities Lab (HHIVE), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


    Falling is recognized as a serious risk for elderly individuals, often marking the transitional moment where living independently gives way to assisted or nursing home living. An analysis of first-person narratives reveals insight about the ways older adults manage not just aging bodies and challenging environments but also existential aspects of “falling” into new identities late in life. Falling, this archive suggests, provides the occasion for philosophical reflection as well as practical problem-solving.

    See video recording.

  • Where Questions Become Answers: Ethics Along the Translational Pathway for Genomics

    Marsha Michie picture2.jpg
    Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Research Ethics Lecture Series
    Marsha Michie, PhD, Assistant Professor, Institute for Health & Aging, University of California at San Francisco


    The translation of biomedical innovation bridges research and clinical practice, transforming scientific discovery into patient care. The case of cell-free DNA offers an example of rapid and ongoing translation that unsettles the boundaries of research and clinical ethics, helping us to re-think the translational pathway for genomics and the challenges and opportunities it presents for ethical frameworks and guidance.

    See video recording.

  • Transgender Medicine: A Wealth of Ethical Dilemmas

    Deanna Adkins3 cropped.jpg
    Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 5:00pm
    • Topics in Medical Ethics Lecture Series
    Deanna Adkins, MD, Director, Duke Child and Adolescent Gender Care, Duke University School of Medicine

    Dr. Adkins will discuss the many challenges faced by those practicing transgender medicine including limited data, provider bias, and off label-use medications. Among other topics, she will also consider ethical dilemmas regarding patients with autism and their ability to consent.

    See video recording.

  • Digital Informed Consent for Research: A New Era

    Christian Simon headshot.jpg
    Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Research Ethics Lecture Series
    Christian Simon, PhD, Director, Clinical Research Ethics Consultation Service, Program in Bioethics and Humanities, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa

    Informed consent strives to ensure that research involvement is adequately informed and voluntary. Digital technologies are being used to promote these goals, but come with their own challenges. This presentation addresses the growth in digital consenting methods and some of their key ethical, practical, and social implications.

    See video recording.

  • Why Research Ethics Requires More, Not Less, Participant Data

    Ana Iltis high-res photo.jpg
    Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Research Ethics Lecture Series
    Ana Iltis, PhD, Director, Center for Bioethics, Health & Society, Wake Forest University

    The ethical conduct of research sometimes requires that investigators collect more, not less, participant data.  Looking at examples of living donor uterus transplantation research and psychiatric research illustrates the importance of gathering data that can be used both in real time to improve studies and in the future to assess possible clinical applications of findings.

  • Managing the Therapeutic Illusion in Medicine

    Casarett, David.jpg
    Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 5:00pm
    • Topics in Medical Ethics Lecture Series
    David Casarett, MD, MA, Chief of Palliative Care, Professor of Medicine, Duke University/Duke Health

    Decades of psychology experiments have shown that we tend to overestimate our influence over events.  In medicine, this illusion of control is a “therapeutic illusion,” which can lead health care providers to recommend burdensome therapies, and to pursue aggressive treatment beyond the point at which it offers meaningful benefit.

    See video recording.

  • The Search for Beauty at the End of Life

    Haider Warraich.jpg
    Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Haider Warraich, MD, Cardiovascular Medicine, Duke University Medical Center

    Over the past century, death has become dying – a prolonged phase of life rather than a singular event. Yet the extensive public discussion around this topic has often failed to take into account the existence of beauty at the end of life. As patients and their families struggle amidst what is often a jarring and lonely experience, learning to attend to the presence of beauty can help patients, caretakers, and health professionals achieve a meaningful end.

    See video recording.

  • Can We Just Say "No"? The Challenges of Health Care Rationing

    PMR Head Shot.jpg
    Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Philip M. Rosoff, MD, MA, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine

    One of the major challenges associated with deciding where to place boundary lines between what should be offered in a health care system and what should not is deciding what to use as a metric or marker to distinguish one from the other.  In this talk I will discuss how this could be accomplished in an ethically justifiable manner that potentially solves what I have called the “cutoff problem.”  

    See video recording.

  • HIV/AIDS and Global Health: From the Global History of HIV/AIDS to its Lived Experience in North Carolina

    HIV-AIDS Event Nov 30,2016 Poster cropped.png
    Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 3:00pm to 6:00pm
    Maria de Bruyn, medical anthropologist; Alicia Diggs, HIV/AIDS advocate and educator; Kelley Swain, poet and writer

    Free and open to the public

    This special World AIDS Day event will feature a keynote address by medical anthropologist  Maria de Bruyn, and a lecture by poet and writer Kelley Swain.