Annual Conference

Plenary Sessions

COVID-19 at the Crossroads

Wednesday, October 13

3–4:30 pm CDT

Moderator: Keith Wailoo, PhD
Panelists: Sandro Galea, MD DrPH MPH; Douglas B. White, MD MAS; Yolonda Yvette Wilson, PhD

We have all taken different roads through the COVID-19 pandemic. As we gather together with our common interests in bioethics and the health humanities, this panel provides an opportunity to reflect on what we have learned so far and to think critically about where we go from here. Our esteemed panelists—a historian, a philosopher, a physician epidemiologist, and a physician ethicist—will offer us the benefit of their perspectives and their visions, addressing issues of health equity, mental health, and clinical challenges, among others.

Turning Outside In: A Future Disability Bioethics

Thursday, October 14

2–3:15 pm CDT

Jackie Leach Scully, PhD FACSS FRSA

Supported by the Institute for Bioethics and Health Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch

“Abnormal” bodies of different kinds have a central place in biomedicine, yet the relationship between disability and bioethics remains a prickly issue. Disability scholars have argued for some time that common cultural understandings of disability are limited, tending to exclude or overhomogenize the actual experiences of disabled people. This is an important realization for bioethicists, who necessarily draw on these common understandings in their normative work. In this presentation, Leach Scully will argue that bioethics needs to be both more critical about the meanings of normality and abnormality and more modest in its epistemic claims about disabled lives. One way of doing so is to distinguish between a disability bioethics that sees disability as a problem to be solved and a disability bioethics that considers disability a near-universal human experience that can be understood, and sometimes managed, in a variety of ways.

Addressing the Political Determinants of Health

Friday, October 15

1:30–2:45 pm CDT

Daniel Dawes, JD

Supported by the Institute for Bioethics and Health Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch

As a nationally recognized healthcare and public health leader and policy expert who has been at the forefront of major federal health policy negotiations, including the Affordable Care Act, Dawes will discuss the critical bridge between social and political determinants of health and its potential to bring about greater health equity and, ultimately, better health outcomes for marginalized people and communities. After clearly defining political determinants of health, he will demonstrate the impact of key moments in American history, apply the significance of the health equity tracker to achieve equitable responses, and stress the importance of the Resiliency Network and how it is structured to address the challenges and opportunities related to data in this area.

*All times listed are Central Daylight Time (CDT).