Through engagement with the works of scholars and artists in medicine and the humanities, students and faculty are encouraged to explore ethical decision-making, cultural differences in world view, and the complexities of the interpretive act - the "multiple ways of knowing - " that are essential to the effective practice of the healing arts.
The events are aimed at continued engagement across disciplines that provides insight into the human condition, the nature of suffering and our responsibility to each other. In essence USC's core values of caring and respect, appreciation of diversity, commitment to ethical conduct, and obligation to service.
Organized by Pamela Schaff (Pediatrics and Keck Educational Affairs), Erin Quinn (Family Medicine and Dornsife Science and Health) and Lyn Boyd-Judson (Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics.)
Cosponsored by the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, Keck School of Medicine’s Program in Medical Humanities, Arts and Ethics; the USC Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 4 PM, Health Sciences Campus Mayer Auditorium
Reception to follow. Admission is free.
As part of the Medical Humanities, Arts and Ethics Series, which engages core health issues in society today, we will present an afternoon with Sarah W. Tracy, author of Alcoholism in America from Reconstruction to Prohibition and co-editor of Altering American Consciousness: The History of Alcohol and Drug Use in the United States, 1800-2000. Tracy earned her doctorate in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma, she taught at the universities of Delaware, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and at Yale University. Tracy will discuss the evolving history of addiction, treatment and drug-related policy in the United States, including the significance of the 1914 Harrison Narcotic Act, a tax act that regulated the sale of opiates and cocaine. The Harrison Act effectively banned the prescription of opiates for addiction treatment, permitting their use for only “medical” purposes. One hundred years later, our nation continues to struggle with the growing problem of addiction to both prescription painkillers and stimulants.
Thursday, September 26, 2013, 4:00 PM, Mayer Auditorium (Health Sciences Campus)
Nick Flynn's most recent book, The Reenactments, completes a trilogy begun with his memoir of homelessness, Another Bullshit in Suck City, and The Ticking is the Bomb (2010), a memoir of interviews with prisoners released from Abu Ghraib.
Thursday, April 4, 2013, 4:00 PM, Mayer Auditorium (Health Sciences Campus)
Rebecca Skloot is an award winning science writer whose work has been widely anthologized. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, took more than a decade to research and write, and instantly became a New York Times best-seller. Skloot’s debut book tells the story of a young black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951—and left behind an inexplicably immortal line of cells known as HeLa. Henrietta Lacks, whose cells—harvested without her knowledge or consent—contributed to scientific advancements as varied as the polio vaccine, treatments for cancers and viruses, in-vitro fertilization, and the impact of space travel on human cells. The story is also about her children, who were later used in research without their consent and who have never benefited from the commercialization of HeLa cells, though the cells have helped biotech companies make millions of dollars. Part detective story, part scientific odyssey, and part family saga, The Immortal Life’s multi-layered approach raises fascinating questions about race, class, and bioethics in America.
Skloot has been featured on numerous television shows, including CBS Sunday Morning, The Colbert Report, Fox Business News, and others. Winner of several awards, including the 2010 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the 2010 Wellcome Trust Book Prize, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Award for Excellence in Science Writing, the 2011 Audie Award for Best Non-Fiction Audiobook, and a Medical Journalists’ Association Open Book Award, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was featured on over 60 critics’ best of the year lists.
Thursday, September 27, 2012, 4:00 PM, Mayer Auditorium (Health Sciences Campus)
Shannon Brownlee, MS, serves as the acting director of the New America Foundation Health Policy Program, in Washington, DC, and is an instructor at the Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Dartmouth Medical School. A nationally known writer and essayist, her work has appeared in The Atlantic, BMJ, New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New Republic, Slate, Time, Washington Monthly, Washington Post, and many other publications. Her book, Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer, published in 2007, is a counterintuitive work that exposes the wasteful flaws in our healthcare system. It was named the best economics book of the year by New York Times economics correspondent, David Leonhardt. "Patients, physicians, and policy makers would do well to consider her evidence as an important prescription for reform," says Jerome Groopman, MD. She is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Scholar and was a visiting scholar at the National Institutes of Health, Department of Bioethics in 2008-2009. She is the recipient of the National Association of Science Writers' Science-in-Society Award and the Association of Health Care Journalists' Award for Excellence.
Tuesday, October 18, 4 PM
Medical anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer is a founding director of Partners In Health (PIH), an international non-profit organization that provides direct health care services and has undertaken research and advocacy activities, on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. Dr. Farmer is the Presley Professor of Social Medicine and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital; and the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton.
Dr. Farmer and his colleagues in the U.S. and in Haiti, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho, and Malawi have pioneered novel community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings. Dr. Farmer has written extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality. His most recent book is Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader. Other titles include Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor, The Uses of Haiti, Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues, and AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame. Dr. Farmer is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association, the Outstanding International Physician (Nathan Davis) Award from the American Medical Association, a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and with his PIH colleagues, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Friday, March 4, 3:00pm (Mayer Auditorium, Health Science Campus)
Laurie Garrett is one of America’s most eloquent and forceful speakers on global healthcare, infectious disease and disease prevention. She will deliver a multimedia talk that uncovers the reality of healthcare in the United States, Europe, Russia and Africa, providing a new understanding of both the challenges and the opportunities of delivering quality healthcare globally.
The only person to win the three “P”s of journalism—the Pulitzer, the Polk and the Peabody—Garrett makes plain the science behind the new threats to public health, both natural and manmade. She is particularly adept at navigating the politics that help and hinder how we prepare, treat and respond to these threats. A senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, Garrett is the best-selling author ofThe Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance and Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health. She has written forForeign Affairs, Esquire and the Washington Post and appears frequently on television shows such asNightline, Charlie Rose and Oprah. Garrett is former president and now a member of the National Association of Science Writers and has been awarded three honorary PhDs, the latest from Georgetown University.
Monday, October 18, 12 p.m. (Health Sciences Campus, Mayer Auditorium)
The recent era has seen a rise in writing about illness, including physician and patient memoirs, blogs about illness and the practice of medicine and fiction based on the experiences of patients. Jay Baruch, MD, will discuss the moral and ethical implications of this kind of writing. Dr. Baruch is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.
March 12, 3pm, Mayer Auditorium
Co-sponsored with the USC Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics
Ira Byock is a leading palliative care physician and longtime public advocate for improving care through the end of life. He is past president of the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and cofounder of the Life’s End Institute: Missoula Demonstration Project, a community-based research and quality improvement organization focused on end-of-life experience and care. He heads the national Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care program for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and a faculty member of Dartmouth School of Medicine.
February 12, 3pm, Mayer Auditorium, USC Health Sciences Campus
Co-sponsors: USC Medical Humanities, Arts, and Ethics and the USC Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics
Dr. Brody has written numerous articles on medical ethics, family medicine, and philosophy of medicine. His current research interests include the importance of an interdisciplinary humanities base for bioethics, ethical issues in primary care, community engagement in bioethics, and professional integrity in both medical practice and clinical research. Dr. Brody’s latest book is The Future of Bioethics(Oxford University Press, January 2009).