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Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies

Greetings from Stephen Latham, Bioethics Center Director

It's Halloween and, even scarier, midterm season, so we're a little light on Bioethics Center activities. But, save the date: our friends at the Medical School's Program for Biomedical Ethics will host Thorsten Wagner (Academic Director, Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) speaking on "Medical Ethics in Past and Present: The Medical Profession in Nazi Germany and the Implications for Teaching Professionalism Today," on November 11, from 5-6:30pm. Details at the link!

And another date to save: the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at the Yale Law School will present a conference on "The New Health Care Industry" on November 12-13.

Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Fins, our former Terry Visiting Scholar in Bioethics and currently the Distinguished Scholar in Medicine, Bioethics and Law at the Solomon Center, on having given the Kopf Lecture on Neuroethics at the Society for Neuroscience last Monday, October 19. Fins' talk, entitled "Giving Voice to Consciousness: Neuroethics, Human Rights and the Indispensability of Neuroscience," dealt with the fate of patients in the often-misdiagnosed "minimally conscious state"--the topic of his recent book, "Rights Come to Mind."
  Updates from the Summer Institute

Conferences & Off Campus Events

Calls for Papers & Nominations



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Updates from the Summer Institute

From Summer Institute Director Carol Pollard

Update for the Summer Institute 2016! Two useful videos for prospective students are now available.  Marta Zorzano just sent us a video she made for our Alumni Website.  The link for Marta’s video is https://youtu.be/5Jw72Hiy2ZU. The link to the Alumni Website is www.yalebioethicsalumni.org. Jack Kanouzi’s video can also be seen on this website or at https://youtu.be/rjq1NM4njCc. (Thank you both!)

Nazimabanu (Nazi) Saiyed writes: “As I wrote to you earlier, my son Hud, who was diagnosed with autism, has learned to communicate through facilitated typing. I tried very hard to get this training for him in Dubai, but unfortunately it is not available. So I applied for a one year leave of absence from my university and have moved to East Syracuse, New York, last Saturday. I am staying in a hotel apartment, and Hud will be starting school next Tuesday (insha Allah) and will be in the fourth grade. He had his assessment this week on Wednesday.  I have a local phone number: (315) 278-0851(315) 278-0851. Do convey this in the Friday Newsletter, so if some of my classmates are near (or far) we can talk.  I miss you, Elin, and all my classmates. I would want to be in the same group of students again and again. Thanks to all of the people this past summer who helped me; it is directly because of my experience in Elin’s Disability seminar that my Hud is now getting an opportunity like this (alhumdulillah). (Good Luck to both you and Hud! Come for a visit when you can!)

Kimberly Strickland shared an article with the 2014 cohort.  I’m passing it on to all of you. (Thanks Kimberly!)

Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill,” MIT Technology Review, The Times of India, October 29, 2015

Antonio Garofalo sent an article that I am sharing with all of you.  (Thank you Antonio!)

What physicians and Other Healthcare Providers Need to Know Today About End-of-Life Care,” Robert Glatter, MD; Ferdinando L. Mirarchi, DO, Medscape, October 22, 2015

Tim Smilnak writes: “I wanted to let you know that the project that I began working on during the 2013 Summer Institute, about the social mission of medical education, was published this past June in the journal Family Medicine. It may be relevant to anyone who is interested in the topics of medical education and caring for underserved populations. I spent much of my summer at Yale doing the background research for this paper, and I had several discussions with classmates about my ideas, so I hope that they will find some gratification in this! I'm thankful for them and the great experience I had at the Summer Institute. Here is a link to the paper. (Congratulations Tim! I hope we see you back on campus this summer!)

Robert Nowell sent this article to us.  (Thank you!)

Family Stunts Disabled Daughter’s Growth to Expand her World," Kristen Gelineau, Bigstory.ap.org, October 26, 2015

Bryanna Moore writes: “For those interested in reproductive ethics, the Australian state of Victoria is the only place in the world that enforces these discriminatory conditions for access to IVF.”  (Thank you Bryanna!)

Many of our former students were seen at The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Annual Meeting this past weekend in Houston.  Among them are:  Kandace Geldmeier, Rachel Fabi, Tuua Ruutiainen, Melissa Kurtz, Alex Dubov, Jack Brackney, and Sam Doernberg.

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (blog.Bioethics.gov) continues its “Deliberation and Education” series.  This week’s post will examine deliberation and education in the Bioethics Commission’s Gray Matters Report.  (Check it out!)

Gloria Steinem, along with a Catholic climate activist and Rabbi Susan Talve from The Shalom Center, commented on “The Pope, the Church, Rabbis, and Women.”

Child Trends E-Newsletter reports that 5 million US children have had a parent incarcerated.  Their latest report outlines who these children are and what other challenges they are likely to have faced.  For example, they are more likely than other children to have lived with a person with a substance abuse problem, witnessed domestic violence at home, and experienced other potentially traumatic events.  The number of mothers in US prisons has more than doubled since 1991, to an estimated 120,000.  Media coverage can help research get to the people it applies to: in this case, those who work with families with incarcerated members, or whose policies or budgets affect them, or the families themselves.  staff@childtrends.org

Roger Worthington writes: "I've recently returned from a trip to India, running workshops on ethics and professionalism in Kolkata and Delhi.  There is growing recognition in India that these subjects need to be addressed in a systematic way, partly in terms of education by including them in curricula, and partly in terms of public policy to tackle corruption and poor professional practice [http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/india-medicine-education/]. The first objective is a little easier to address, and the aim of the workshops was to raise awareness among senior clinicians of the educational need and to discuss ideas on how and when the subjects should be taught. The project was backed by the Government of West Bengal, the British Council in India, and the National Board of Examinations in Delhi. I serve as ethics coordinator for something called the Global Health Exchange - an initiative run by the British NHS - and it was through them that I was invited to act as ‘distinguished faculty’ for these events.The GHE is developing some open access materials for healthcare professionals to use for the purpose of self-directed learning.  There is no organised framework for continuing medical education in India, so plugging a knowledge gap can be difficult, especially for those working in poorer parts of the country, and for those still in training, there may be no local educational support at all for these areas of learning.  I am leading the project and am appealing for help.  If anyone has experience in teaching ethics (including at the summer school) and would be willing to give a little time to help with writing course notes, please contact me directly on rpworthington@gmail.com. I would be glad to hear from you and can then explain things in more detail. No payment is offered--only the satisfaction of knowing that you would be contributing to something worthwhile!” (Thanks Roger! I  hope you get some responses!)

Click for some great pictures of: Andrea Meloff, Jessica Richard and Rachel Teo (celebrating Rachel’s Birthday); Patrick Nagel; Mallory Parker; Nicole Perkins and her family, and Jana Oishi. 

Some Words of Wisdom:

                                “We each have two lives.

                                The second begins

                                When we realize we have only one."

And please check out the Articles Section I’ve prepared for you.

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Conferences & Off Campus Events

The Connecticut Center for Primary Care presents its 6th Annual Primary Care Summit, “The Age of Reason - Restoring Accountability to Medicine,” on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at the Sheraton Hartford South in Rocky Hill, CT, from 1pm to 8pm. $150 per person, but students/residents attend free. Registration and other details at the link.

Quinnipiac University School of Law will host a symposium entitled, "Concerning Aid in Dying," addressing the legal, medical and ethical issues surrounding right-to-die legislation and end-of-life care. The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, in the Ceremonial Courtroom at the School of Law Center on the North Haven Campus, 370 Bassett Road. Details in the link.

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Calls for Papers & Nominations

The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry invites submissions for a forthcoming (2017) issue on the topic, “Investigating public trust in expert knowledge: ethics, narrative and engagement”.

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Articles of Interest

To read the full text of an article, click on its link and it will open in a new window.  

Some sites may require free registration; others may require that you or your organization have a paid subscription.

In the News


"China ends one-child policy, allowing families two children," Chris Buckley, New York Times, Oct. 29.

Brain Death:

"Judge: Jahi McMath's family can present evidence that she is alive," Malaika Fraley, San Jose Mercury News, Oct. 23.


"Heaven over hospital: a dying girl, age 5, makes a choice," Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Oct. 27.

Assisted Reproduction:

"Court orders girl with two mothers to stay in touch with two fathers," The Guardian, Oct. 15.

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In the Journals

Research Ethics:

"Bringing the Common Rule into the 21st century," K. Hudson and F. Collins, NEJM, Oct. 28.

Assisted Suicide:

"Assisted suicide: Models of legal regulation in selected European countries and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights," C. Grosse and A. Grosse, Medicine, Science and the Law.

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Please visit our website at bioethics.yale.edu.

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