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Conferences and Lectures

The Albert Gnaegi Center 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 SLU 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, highlight research done by students, and increase awareness of ethical issues in science and medicine to the wider community.

This conference follows our Drummond Lecturer. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Natalie Hardy via email.

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View the Virtual 2021 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.

Past Drummond Lecturers

2/11/22  -  Matthew Liao, MD,  "Do the Elderly Have a Right to Be Loved?"

5/7/21 - Yolonda Wilson, PhD, "Feminist Bioethics as Public Practice"   

3/21/19 - Benjamin Wilfond, MD, "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, MD, PhD, "Popular Neuroscience and Political Schemes"

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

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

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

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

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

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

03/14/08 – Douglas S. Diekema, MD, MPH, "The Ashley Case Revisited: Reflections on Health Care Decision-making."

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

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

04/08/05 – Tod Chambers, PhD, "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, MD, PhD, OFM, "The Ethics of Terminal Sedation"

04/11/02 – Jerry Menikoff, MD, JD, MPH, "Promising Experimental Medical Treatments - For Research Subjects Only?"

03/30/01 – Gerard Magill, PhD,"Ethics of Stem Cell Research"

03/03/00 – Gerard Magill, PhD, Joan Carter, PhD and C. Griffin Trotter, MD, PhD, "Unions and Catholic Healthcare"

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

03/27/98 – James DuBois, PhD, DSc and Harvey Solomon, MD, "The Ethics of Non-Heart Beating Organ Donation"

04/25/97 – Edmund Pellegrino, MD, "Ethics in Medicine"

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

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

04/22/94 – Troyen Brennan, MD, "Health Care Reform: Ethical Issues"

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

04/24/92 – Hugh Straley, MD, "Physician Assisted Suicide: Ethical Issues"

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

03/30/90 – Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, "Four Models of Physician-Patient Relationship"

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

12/3/87 - 12/4/87 – Mervyn Silverman, MD, MPH, "AIDS: The Ethical Dilemmas"

03/20/87 – Robert Heaney, MD, "Technology & The Human Response"

02/10/86 – Ned Cassem, SJ, MD, "Contemporary Ethical Issues in Medical Care"

Distinguished Lecture Series

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

Past Distinguished Lecturers

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, PhD, "Why I am a Bioconservative"

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

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

11/07/12 –John Lantos, MD, "The Cultivation of Gratitude"

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

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

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

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

09/10/04 –H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., MD, PhD, "Birth of Bioethics Critically Reassessed"

09/19/03 – Jonathan Moreno, PhD, "Human Experimentation and Bioterrorism"


Meet the Author, Harold Braswell 

Please join the Center for Health Care Ethics as we celebrate Harold Braswell and the release of his new book, "The Crisis of US Hospice Care." 

There will be a limited number of signed copies available that evening at the event. You can also purchase the book from John Hopkins Press (use coupon code HTWN for a 20% discount).  More about the book: Exploring the failure of hospice in America to care for patients and families at the end of life. Hospice is the dominant form of end-of-life care in the United States. But while the US hospice system provides many forms of treatment that are beneficial to dying people and their families, it does not encompass what is commonly referred to as long-term care, which includes help with the activities of daily living: feeding, bathing, general safety, and routine hygienic maintenance. Frequently, such care is carried out by an informal network of unpaid caregivers, such as the person's family or loved ones, who are often ill-prepared to offer this type of support.

In "The Crisis of US Hospice Care," Harold Braswell argues that the stress of providing long-term care typically overwhelms family members and that overdependence on familial caregiving constitutes a crisis of US hospice care that limits the freedom of dying people. Arguing for the need to focus on the time just before death, Braswell examines how the relationship of hospice to familial caregiving evolved. He traces the history of hospice over the past fifty years and describes the choice that people dying with inadequate familial support face between a neglectful home environment and an impersonal nursing home.

A nuanced look at the personal and political dimensions that shape long-term, end-of-life care, this historical and ethnographic study demonstrates that the crisis in US hospice care can be alleviated only by establishing the centrality of hospice to American freedom. Providing a model for the transformative work that is required going forward, "The Crisis of US Hospice Care" illustrates the potential of hospice for facilitating a new way of living our last days and for having the best death possible.

International Academy for Bioethical Inquiry (IABI) Summer Symposium


The Center for Health Care Ethics and IABI will host a bioethics symposium in St. Louis in July 2020. Details and final dates are forthcoming.

Paper presentations from renowned bioethics scholars 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 is available for the upcoming symposium will be available via SLU Marketplace soon.