Past Events

  • State, Environment and Disease: Dengue Fever and the Struggle for Control of Urban Spaces in Delhi and Singapore

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    Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Randall M. Packard, PhD is a specialist on the social history of health and disease in Africa and in the history of international health. His newest book, A History of Global Health: Interventions into the Lives of Other Peoples, will be published in the summer of 2016. His current project is a book on the history of dengue fever.


    Professor Packard’s talk addresses the failure of recent efforts to control Dengue fever by exploring the attempts by government authorities in two very different cities, Singapore and Delhi, to control the urban spaces that provide a home for the Aedes mosquitoes and a breeding ground...

  • If I Have an Interest, Why Is It a Conflict?

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    Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 12:00pm
    • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
    Ross McKinney, Jr., MD focuses his bioethics research on conflict of interest, the ethics of sports medicine, and the process of informed consent. He currently serves on the Board of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors.


    Financial conflicts of interest in research have drawn the attention of the press, the public, and the federal government in recent years. Legislation like the Physician Sunshine Act and the Open Payments database makes a public spectacle out of the financial relationships between...

  • 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...