Center for Biomedical Ethics & Society Speaking Events


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Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Flexner Discovery Lecture Series features the world's most eminent scientists who speak on the highest-impact research and policy issues in science and medicine today.

Sponsored by Center for Biomedical Ethics & Society:

Sept. 27, 2018 (4:00 p.m.) in 208 Light Hall


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Jeffrey Kahn is the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.  He is also Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy, and Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.  His research interests include the ethics of research, ethics and public health, and ethics and emerging biomedical technologies.  He speaks widely both in the U.S. and abroad, and has published four books and over 125 articles.  He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a Fellow of the Hastings Center, and has chaired or served on committees and panels for the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Medicine, where he is currently chair of the Board on Health Sciences Policy.  His education includes a BA in microbiology (UCLA, 1983), MPH (Johns Hopkins, 1988), and PhD in philosophy (Georgetown, 1989).


Sept. 28, 2017 (Noon) in 208 Light Hall

Peter Angelos, MD, PhD, FACS
Linda Kohler Anderson Professor of Surgery and Surgical Ethics
Chief of Endocrine Surgery
Associate Director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics

"Innovation in Surgery: Are we Doing the Best we can for our Patients?"

Peter Angelos, MD, PhD, FACS is the Linda Kohler Anderson Professor of Surgery and Surgical Ethics, Chief of Endocrine Surgery, and Associate Director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago.  He completed his undergraduate degree, medical school, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Boston University.  He completed his residency in General Surgery at Northwestern University and went on to complete fellowships in Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago and in Endocrine Surgery at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Angelos is a busy endocrine surgeon who has written widely on improving outcomes of thyroid and parathyroid surgery, minimally invasive endocrine surgery, and ethical aspects in the care of surgical patients. Dr. Angelos is also a regular contributor to the American College of Surgeons Surgery News where he writes a column on surgical ethics entitled, “The Right Choice?” He is the immediate past president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons.

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GR 2016



Ethics Grand Rounds

Tuesday, April 5, 2016   12 Noon * 208 Light Hall

Advance Directives and Advance Planning for End-of-Life Care:  Why and how to talk with your patients, caregivers, family, and friends about the future.


Carol H. Eck, RN, MBA,  Administrative Director   Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center                    

Keith King,  Community Relations Manager   Alive Hospice Institute

Kate Payne, JD, RN, NC-BC,  Associate Professor of Nursing and Clinical Ethics Consultant  
Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society

James C. Powers, MD,  Associate Professor of Medicine and Director   Vanderbilt-Reynolds Geriatrics Education Center

Since the early 1970s, efforts to document patients’ preferences regarding medical treatment at the end of life have focused on advance directives. These written statements allow individuals to provide instructions to caregivers, family, and friends while they are able to make medical decisions.  Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services approved coverage for providers to engage their patients in advance care planning and review their advance directives. As part of a VUMC-wide initiative to promote advance directives, a multidisciplinary panel will discuss the value of advance care planning and how to talk with patients, caregivers, family, and friends about their future health care.  


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Faculty Research Seminar

Dr Andrew Nickels will be giving a Faculty Research Seminar on November 16 at 3:30pm. Topic: "E-Cigarettes: Clinical, Ethical, and Policy Challenges."



Surgery Grand Rounds

September 25, 2015          7:00 a.m.        Light Hall  208
Vanderbilt University

 "Medically Inappropriate Treatment and Futility: Ethical and Legal Concerns”


Speaker:  Joe Fanning, PhD


Cardiology Grand Rounds

September 30, 2015          12:00 p.m.        Room 5053 MCE North Tower  Vanderbilt University


"Death and Devices: Ethical Issues"

Speaker:  Kate Payne, JD, RN, NC-BC 




Yale School of Medicine Program for Biomedical Ethics

October 8, 2015          5:00 p.m.        New Haven, CT

Speaker:  Bruce Jennings, MA




Division of General Internal Medicine

October 21, 2015  

“Addressing Misconceptions about SEID (formerly ME/CFS)” 

Speaker:  Ellen Wright Clayton, MD, JD



Boston University School of Public Health

October 27, 2015   
Turning the Tide: New Directions in Population Health series

“Why Public Health is Essential in a Priscision Medicine World” 

Speaker:  Ellen Wright Clayton, MD, JD


Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard University

November 16, 2015   

“Modelling Risk to Privacy in Genomics Research and Why It Matters” 

Speaker:  Ellen Wright Clayton, MD, JD, co-written with Brad Malin, Assoc Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University


Hastings Center

November 9, 2015   

“Why There Should Be Limits on Disorders Reported in Newborn Screening” 

Speaker:  Ellen Wright Clayton, MD, JD


Prior Events:

Department of Medicine Grand Rounds

August 27, 2015          8:00 a.m.          208 Light Hall  
Vanderbilt University 

"Healing in Medicine: Lessons from Clinicians and Patients"
Speaker:  Larry R. Churchill, Ph.D.              

Dr Churchill


 Event Site



Seminar of Ethical, Legal, & Social Implications of Genetics

Monday, September 21, 2015 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm 
Board Room #6601   New York State Psychiatric Institute, 
New York, NY

"Genomics Over the Pediatric Life Course:  Addressing the Issues"

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Speaker:  Ellen Wright Clayton, MD, JD        
Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Law, Professor of Health Policy,  Co-Founder-Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University

The ability to assay thousands or even millions of genetic variants at any time from birth (or before) to death raises particular ethical and legal issues for minors since they are rarely able to decide whether to undergo testing on their own.  Studies are underway to assess the impact of whole genome sequencing on newborns and their families.  Commentators disagree about whether parents can either demand or refuse some or all genomic information about their children, raising questions that go to the heart of parental authority and the ethical foundations of pediatrics.  What, if anything, should happen when minors attain cognitive capacity or legal majority, similarly, is hotly debated. The goal of this talk is to consider these debates together to develop a unified approach for addressing them.

Hosted by: Center for Research on Ethical/Legal/Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic & Behavioral Genetics, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center