Past Events

  • The Book of Colors

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Raymond Barfield, MD, PhD, a pediatric oncologist, is interested in the intersection of medicine, philosophy and theology. His medical research focuses on improvement of the quality of life for children with severe or fatal diseases.


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    Through his work with low-income African American children at Duke University...

  • Bending the Cost Curve at CMS

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 4:00pm
    • Special Event
    Shantanu Agrawal, MD was appointed by the Obama Administration to serve as Deputy Administrator for Program Integrity and Director of the Center for Program Integrity at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).


    Dr. Agrawal focuses on improving healthcare value by lowering the cost of care through the detection and prevention of waste, abuse, and fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Prior to this role, he served as Chief Medical Officer of the Center for Program Integrity, where he...

  • From the Dead to the Living: Ethical Transgressions in Anatomical Research in National Socialism

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Sabine Hildebrandt, MD is an assistant professor in the department of general pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital and a lecturer on global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research interests are the history and ethics of anatomy, and specifically the history of anatomy in National Socialist Germany, a field in which she is an internationally recognized expert.


    The use of bodies of executed persons was well established as an accepted practice in German anatomy before 1933. When National Socialism legislation led to an exponential increase in executions, anatomists of all political convictions seized the new "research opportunities" eagerly. In...

  • Lost Autisms: Rethinking the Origins of a Contested Diagnosis

    Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD, a medical historian, has concentrated on medical technology, ethics and child health. He is currently engaged in a project examining the history and changing definitions of autism.Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD, a medical historian, has concentrated on medical technology, ethics and child health. He is currently engaged in a project examining the history and changing definitions of autism.


    Historians have generally described autism as a syndrome that was “discovered” in 1943, remained a rare categorical diagnosis through the 1970s, and then was expanded into a “spectrum” in the 1980s. This talk will argue instead that the meaning and boundaries of autism have been...

  • "Heart Failure"

    Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Terrence Holt, MD, PhD practices geriatric medicine at UNC Chapel Hill and directs an interdisciplinary MA curriculum in the medical humanities. A collection of his widely-anthologized short fiction was a New York Times Editor's Choice in 2009. His most recent collection of short stories, Internal Medicine, was published in Fall 2015 by W. W. Norton.


    “Internal Medicine, Holt’s new collection of stories, captures the feelings of a young doctor’s three-year hospital residency—the powerlessness, the exhaustion, the chaotic and seemingly endless shifts, and above all, the intensity of being with people in moments of extremity—better...

  • From Cell Lines to Bioslaves: Biotechnology and the Politics of Health

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    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Priscilla Wald is Professor of English and Women's Studies at Duke University and author of Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative and Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form. She is interested in the intersections of science, law, and literature.

    The HeLa cell line, named for Henrietta Lacks, revolutionized cell biology. Henrietta Lacks, who died from aggressive cervical cancer, gave the story of the creation of the cell line a human face. The numerous retellings of her tragic story, however, have conflated the person and the cells and...

  • Rationing Is Not a Four-Letter Word: Death Panels, Policy and Ethics

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    Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Philip Rosoff, MD, MA, director of the Clinical Ethics Program, serves as chair for both the Hospital Ethics Committee and the Clinical Ethics Consult Subcommittee. His clinical and research interests center around the equitable allocation of scarce resources. He has published the book, Rationing Is Not a Four-Letter Word: Setting Limits on Healthcare (MIT Press).  


    Healthcare rationing is often portrayed as anathema in the United States. But Dr. Rosoff will argue that we have excellent examples of overt rationing done well that we find acceptable and even laudatory.  Moreover, if we redesign our healthcare system to incorporate rationing, it would...

  • Wind in the Willows: Hearing the Voices of Children in Research

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    Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Marion E. Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN is Dean of the School of Nursing and Vice Chancellor for Nursing Affairs at Duke University. Previously, she was dean of the Indiana University School of Nursing, where she was awarded the rank of Distinguished Professor. Dean Broome focuses on research ethics related to informed consent and assent for children in research, research misconduct in clinical trials and, most recently, ethical dilemmas in publishing.


    In this presentation, Dean Broome will describe what we know from research about children and their parents' perceptions of research participation. Best practices for those working with children and parents considering research participation will be discussed. She will also consider how...

  • Ethics to Policy: Conflicts of Interest between IRB Members and Industry

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    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Eric G. Campbell, PhD conducts research relating to physician conflict of interest and how academic-industry relationships affect the process and outcomes of biomedical research. His work has attracted attention from numerous health care organizations and national policymakers. Professor Campbell has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals including The New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association.


    In this talk, Professor Campbell explored the nature, extent and consequences of conflicts of interest between Institutional Review Board (IRB) members and industry using data from his recently completed national study. In addition, he will explore how these things have changed since...

  • Drug Studies: The Good, the Bad and the Biased

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    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Lisa A. Bero, PhD is a pharmacologist who studies how science is translated into clinical practice and health policy.


    Professor Bero has developed and validated methods for assessing bias in the design, conduct and dissemination of research on pharmaceuticals, tobacco and chemicals. She has also conducted analyses to examine the dissemination and policy implications of research evidence.