Saint Louis University

Annual Health Care Ethics Research Conference

"At The Margins of Bioethics"  |  February 26, 2016

Health Care Ethics Research ConferenceThe Center for Health Care Ethics is excited to announce the Third Annual Health Care Ethics Research Conference, an annual research conference for undergraduate and graduate students to present research related to health care ethics to an interdisciplinary audience. This conference is designed to foster advanced academic discourse in fields related to health care ethics at the undergraduate and graduate levels, feature and affirm research by Health Care Ethics students as well as increase awareness of ethical issues in science and medicine to the university and wider community.


The conference is open and free of charge to anyone in the St. Louis community interested in bioethics and medical humanities. However, the majority of participants and observers are members of the Saint Louis University community. The conference attracts individuals from many different disciplines and fosters interdisciplinary dialogue about important issues in health care.

Event Details:

Date: February 26, 2016

12:00-1:00pm (Schwitalla Lecture Hall 1):
Keynote Speaker, Center for Health Care Ethics Drummond Lecture Series
Dorothy E. Roberts, JD

1:30-4:00pm (LRC 110, 112, and 113):

Conference Presentations

4:00-5:00pm (LRC Pitlyk Auditorium A):
Reception with Refreshments


Submission Details:

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Submit abstract form (250 words or less) by January 26, 2016, via email to

Questions of access, justice, and opportunity have surged to the forefront of public discussion in conversations surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, actresses speaking out about equal pay and opportunity, and the current refugee crisis in Syria. This year's events have reignited discussion about the experiences that are unseen in public life. The Third Annual Health Care Ethics Research Conference, hosted by SLU's Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, will examine the issues related to the experience at the margins and how they interact with bioethics. Conference submissions are encouraged, but not required, to engage this theme.

Students are encouraged to submit research projects and papers completed as part of an HCE (or related discipline) course requirement, as well as independent research projects. There are three different categories of submissions: (1) Graduate, (2) Undergraduate-Non-Senior and (3) Undergraduate-Senior, with a monetary prize for each category. The conference will accept abstract submissions from students in any area of work related to bioethics, health care ethics or medical humanities, including students from other SLU departments and other local universities.

Prize Money:

The first and second place winner in each of the three categories will receive a cash prize. In addition, the winners of the Undergraduate-Senior category will receive the honor of representing Health Care Ethics in the Senior Legacy Symposium.

About the Speaker

Dorothy Roberts, JDDorothy Roberts, JD, is an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law. She joined the University of Pennsylvania as its 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the Law School where she also holds the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mosell Alexander chair.

Her pathbreaking work in law and public policy focuses on urgent contemporary issues in health, social justice, and bioethics, especially as they impact the lives of women, children and African-Americans. Her major books include Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New Press, 2011); Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002), and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997). She is the author of more than 80 scholarly articles and book chapters, as well as a co-editor of six books on such topics as constitutional law and women and the law.

Dr. Roberts will present the 2016 Drummond Lecture, “Mistreating Health Inequities: Race, Medicine, and Justice” as part of the Health Care Ethics Research Conference. Defining disease and practicing medicine according to race has played an essential part in biological justifications for racial inequality. Today, race still shapes medical decision making and racial inequities still plague health and medical care. At the same time, countless research projects at universities and biotech firms search for genetic causes of appalling health disparities. In June 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even approved the first pharmaceutical indicated for a specific race. The claim that racial gaps in health result from genetic difference and can be treated by race-specific therapies promotes a false view of humanity and diverts attention from the social determinants of health. Medical practice and research must abandon backward biological definitions of race and instead affirm our common humanity by addressing the structural causes of health inequities.


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