Healthcare Ethics Seminars
A Poynter Center tradition for over a decade, the Healthcare Ethics Seminar series brings together scholars, medical professionals, students and members of the public to discuss moral issues in health and healthcare. This year's presentations included in-depth issues both at the micro-level of patient-provider interaction and the macro-level of public health and healthcare access.
Michael Stefanek, associate vice president for collaborative research at IU and former vice president for behavioral research at the American Cancer Society, shared information about the history of the status quo in breast cancer screenings and presented an argument for a new policy, leading to great discussion of the role of medical recommendations in making healthcare decisions.
Beth Meyerson, co-director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention at IU, led an important discussion of HIV/AIDS prevention. The group discussed the risks and benefits of the new over-the-counter HIV self-test and concerns Meyerson reported from focus groups representing high-risk populations. She also discussed the findings of a recent study of every site offering HIV testing in Indiana, which revealed widespread systemic problems in access to testing in a traditional setting. The roles of pharmacists, regulators, parents and nonprofit clinic workers all raised knotty ethical questions.
John Woodcock, associate professor emeritus of English, presented on "Photographing Patients: Clinical and Ethical Considerations," discussing several examples of projects that have photographed patients and the questions they raise. He is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Medical Ethics Committee and offers film- and literature-based seminars on physician-patient interaction to a wide variety of audiences.