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Conferences and Lectures

The Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University sponsors two endowed lectures each year, along with a student research conference.

Annual Health Care Ethics Research Conference

The Health Care Ethics Research Conference, started in 2014, is an annual opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to present research on health care ethics to an interdisciplinary audience.

This conference is designed to foster advanced academic discourse in fields related to health care ethics, highlight student research, and increase awareness of ethical issues in science and medicine to the wider community.

This conference usually follows our Drummond Lecturer. This year it will follow our Distinguished Lecture Series. Our keynote speaker will be Joseph A. Stramondo, Ph.D., presenting, "The Social Costs and Benefits of Choosing Disability," at noon, Friday, May 5, in CKH L50 (Anheuser-Busch Auditorium). The breakout sessions for the conference will start immediately following the lecture.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Dakotah Kinsella via email.

View the Flyer (PDF)

Call for Papers (PDF)

Additional Details on the 2023 Health Care Ethics Research Conference

Edward J. Drummond Lecture Series

The Edward J. Drummond Lecture Series was established in honor of the late Edward J. Drummond, S.J. A Jesuit and an alumnus, Drummond served as the first vice president for SLU’s Medical Center.

Drummond's dedication to his vocation and his vision for the medical center can be summed up in his words, spoken in 1964: "This must be a place where learning continues, and care is delivered in an atmosphere that remains personal in an increasingly technological society. We must be dedicated to scientific truth and committed to a tradition that sets medical knowledge and medical service in a significant relationship to God and our fellow men and women.

The 2023 Drummond Lecturer will be Ana S. Iltis, Ph.D., on Sept. 8, in conjunction with the Internal Medicine Grand Rounds. Details are forthcoming. 

Past Drummond Lecturers

2/11/22 - Matthew Liao, D.Phil, "Ethics of AI and Health Care: Towards a Substantive Human Rights Framework"

5/7/21 - Yolonda Wilson, Ph.D., "Feminist Bioethics as Public Practice" 

3/21/19 - Benjamin Wilfond, M.D., "Technological Interventions in Children with Profound Disabilities: Navigating Family & Professional Values."

3/2/18 - Joseph J Fins, "Disorders of Consciousness and Disability Rights: When Neuroscience meets Neuroethics"

11/18/2016 - Brian Williams  (HEALTH AND SOCIAL JUSTICE conference) "Breaking the Silence: A Candid Look at Race and Violence in America"

02/26/16 – Dorothy Roberts, JD, "Mistreating Health Inequities: Race, Medicine, and Justice"

03/27/15 – Jeffrey P. Bishop, M.D., Ph.D., "Popular Neuroscience and Political Schemes"

03/21/14 – Larry R. Churchill, Ph.D., "Patients: The Neglected Source for Medical Ethics"

05/10/13 – Farr A. Curlin, M.D., "What has religion to do with the practice of medicine?"

04/13/12 – James W. Pichert, Ph.D., "Promoting Professionalism and Professional Accountability in Pursuit of a Culture of Safety"

04/15/11 – Peter A. Lawler, Ph.D., "Virtue and the Prospect of Indefinite Longevity"

04/09/10 – Mark Siegler, M.D., "Primary Care Physicians' Views on Health Reform and End of Life Care"

04/03/09 – Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D., MACP, "Autonomy as a Positive Right: The Danger of Moral Abandonment"

03/14/08 – Douglas S. Diekema, M.D., M.P.H., "The Ashley Case Revisited: Reflections on Health Care Decision-making."

03/30/07 – Ron Hamel, Ph.D., "A Matter of Conscience: The Scope & Limits of Health Professionals' Refusals."

04/07/06 – Nancy Dubler, LLB, "Bioethics Mediation."

04/08/05 – Tod Chambers, Ph.D., "The Bioethicist's Audience is Always a Fiction."

03/05/04 – Rebecca Dresser, JD, "The President's Council on Bioethics Work on Cloning and Stem Cell Research: An Insider's Perspective."

03/14/03 – Daniel Sulmasy, M.D., Ph.D., OFM, "The Ethics of Terminal Sedation"

04/11/02 – Jerry Menikoff, M.D., JD, M.P.H., "Promising Experimental Medical Treatments - For Research Subjects Only?"

03/30/01 – Gerard Magill, Ph.D., "Ethics of Stem Cell Research"

03/03/00 – Gerard Magill, Ph.D., Joan Carter, Ph.D. and C. Griffin Trotter, M.D., Ph.D., "Unions and Catholic Healthcare"

04/16/99 – Kenneth V. Iserson, M.D., "They're Dead, Now What? Reflections on the Treatment of Dead Bodies"

03/27/98 – James DuBois, Ph.D., DSc and Harvey Solomon, M.D., "The Ethics of Non-Heart Beating Organ Donation"

04/25/97 – Edmund Pellegrino, M.D., "Ethics in Medicine"

03/22/96 – Norman Desbiens, M.D., "Ethical Issues in Care of the Dying" Lessons from the SUPPORT Study

03/17/95 – Lawrence Schneiderman, M.D., "Beyond Futility to an Ethic of Care"

04/22/94 – Troyen Brennan, M.D., "Health Care Reform: Ethical Issues"

04/02/93 – Kathleen M. Foley, M.D., "Cancer Pain"

04/24/92 – Hugh Straley, M.D., "Physician Assisted Suicide: Ethical Issues"

03/01/91 – Edmund Pellegrino, M.D., "Economics & Medicine: Ethics Challenges..Ethical Responses"

03/30/90 – Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., "Four Models of Physician-Patient Relationship"

03/17/89 – Kathleen Nolan, M.D., "Probing Our Genes: Ethical Implications of Mapping the Human Genome"

12/3/87 - 12/4/87 – Mervyn Silverman, M.D.,  "AIDS: The Ethical Dilemmas"

03/20/87 – Robert Heaney, M.D., "Technology & The Human Response"

02/10/86 – Ned Cassem, S.J., M.D., "Contemporary Ethical Issues in Medical Care"

Distinguished Lecture Series

The Distinguished Lecture Series invites internationally established ethicists to lecture at Saint Louis University. The series aims to discuss major emerging issues in health care ethics with faculty and doctoral students, as well as the larger University community. 

Our 2022 Distinguished Lecturer is Dr. Miguel J. Romero, associate professor at Salve Regina University. He will present "Disability, Beauty, and Health Care Ethics: An Impractical Theological Proposal?" at 3 p.m., Dec 2. in ADH 142. His lecture will ask: Is there a properly Christian and distinctively Catholic way of thinking, speaking, and arguing about “disability”? Could an answer to that question help us think about the ministry of Catholic health care and the work of Catholic health care ethicists? In this presentation, Dr. Romero (1) discusses the concept ‘disability’ in relation to the discursive mores of biomedical ethics; (2) he introduces Aquinas’s way of thinking about the ‘fittingness’ of our natural vulnerability to impairment, illness, and injury amid the unfolding drama of the history of grace; and (3) he concludes with a question, followed by a modest proposal. Does the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ make any practical difference in how Catholic Christians perform the work of mercy called ‘health care’? If so, what is that difference? 

View the Flyer

If you'd like to attend via zoom, please email Adrienne McCarthy.

Past Distinguished Lecturers

4/29/22 - Alexandre Andrade Martins, Ph.D., "Beyond the Conventional: A New Epistemology for Bioethics in Global Health"

10/15/18 - Christina Bieber Lake, "Monsters in our Midst: The Sins of Dr. Frankenstein"

3/2/2018 - Carl Elliott, “Lonesome Whistle: Why medical researchers stay silent about dangers to human subjects"

12/02/15 –Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Ph.D., "Why I am a Bioconservative"

02/26/15 – Cathleen Kaveny, JD, Ph.D., "Religion, Conscience, & the Public Square: Thirty Years After Cuomo's Notre Dame Speech"

10/07/13 – Laurie Zoloth, Ph.D., "Religion, Bioethics and the Poor: Attending to the Present on Bioethics"

11/07/12 –John Lantos, M.D., "The Cultivation of Gratitude"

10/9/09 – Laurence B. McCullough, Ph.D., “Taking Professional Conscience Seriously"

10/10/08 – Mark Cherry, Ph.D., "Kidney for Sale by Owner: Human Organs, Transplantation, and the Market"

11/10/06 –James F. Childress, Ph.D., "Just Care: Rationing in a Public Health Crisis"

09/09/05 –Laurie Zoloth, Ph.D., "Justice is the One Thing You Must Always Find: Access to Health Care in an Unfinished World"

09/10/04 –H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., "Birth of Bioethics Critically Reassessed"

09/19/03 – Jonathan Moreno, Ph.D., "Human Experimentation and Bioterrorism"


International Academy for Bioethical Inquiry (IABI) Summer Symposium

Logo reading IABI: Interntional Academy for Bioethical Inquiry

The Center for Health Care Ethics and IABI will host a bioethics symposium. Details and final dates are forthcoming.

Paper presentations from renowned bioethics scholars from around the world will explore the ontological and theological dimensions of bioethics.

IABI seeks to do two things:

  1. Bring religion and faith commitments back to serious bioethical inquiry, and
  2. Provide a venue for philosophically and theologically sophisticated scholarship to be brought to bear on contemporary bioethics.

Registration for the upcoming symposium will be available via SLU Marketplace soon.