Exploring Ethics – February 2, 2023

The talk will be on Thursday, February 2, 2023 from 12-1 pm and it will be held virtually via WebEx. For more details please see below: Exploring Ethics Talk Title: “Legal and Ethical Issues in End-of-Life Care in the Emergency Department” Speaker: Arthur R. Derse, MD, JD, FACEP Date: Thursday, February 2, 2023 Time: 12pm—1 pm Location: Virtual, via WebEx. To […]

Bioethics Author Reading – Amy Haddad, PhD, MFA, RN, FAAN, Professor Emerita, Creighton University

Virtual Lecture – Health Justice & COVID-19 Housing Policy – Emily Benfer, JD.

On Thursday, 31 March 2022, 4:00-5:00pm (ET) Emily A. Benfer, JD, Visiting Professor of Law & Public Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, will speak on the topic of Health Justice & Covid-19 Housing Policy.  Add this lecture to your calendar.

Emily A. Benfer has conducted nationwide research on housing policy and health equity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her area of practice and research includes health equity, social justice, housing, and eviction, interprofessional education, environmental and racial justice, and medical-legal partnerships. Prof. Benfer has engaged in direct representation, class action litigation, grassroots organizing, creative advocacy strategies, and federal and state policy reform in multiple areas of public interest law, including homelessness, lead poisoning prevention, special education, housing, health, environmental justice, disability, and public benefits at non-profit organizations and a public interest law firm.

Prior to her Wake Forest visiting appointment, Benfer was the founding director of the Health Justice Advocacy Clinic at Columbia Law School and a Visiting Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow at Yale Law School Solomon Center for Health Law & Policy.

The lecture will be presented as a Zoom webinar followed by a live Q&A/discussion.

Attendance is free.  Zoom link is here.

Implementing Medical Resource Allocation Plans During a Public Health Crisis: Lessons Learned from COVID-19 – Bioethics Panel Discussion

Virtual Lecture: “Ethics for the Anthropocene”.

Date: September 29, 2020


5:00pm – 6:00pm


Larry R. Churchill, PhD
Ann Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics, Emeritus Vanderbilt University

The anthropocene is the current geological age – the period in which human activity is the dominant influence on climate and the environment. Addressing climate change requires an ethical transition from “me” to “we.” So does coping with Covid-19. This lecture invites us to think differently about environmental and social justice, for now and for the future, in this anthropocene age.

Dr. Churchill has published widely in medical ethics, including research with human subjects, end of life decision-making, social justice, the ethics of U.S. health policy, and informed consent. He has studied the relationships between clinicians and their patients, focusing on virtues and values   that   have   been underappreciated, and on how to translate knowledge of healing skills into medical education and practice. Dr. Churchill is a member of National Academy of Medicine (elected 1991) and a Fellow of The Hastings Center (elected 2000). His most recent books are Healers: Extraordinary Clinicians at Work (2012), What Patients Teach: The Everyday Ethics of Health Care (2013), and Ethics for Everyone (2020). In this lecture, Dr. Churchill asks us to enlarge our moral vision to a planetary future.

The lecture will be presented as a Zoom webinar followed by a live Q&A/discussion.

Attendance is free but registration is required. Please register here.

For further information please contact bioethics@wfu.edu.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Wake Forest University Bioethics Graduate Program

Wake Forest University Program for Leadership and Character

Wake Forest University Humanities Institute,

(made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities)

Isolated By The Law, Part 2 – an Asynchronous Symposium – Now Available

Date:  04/22/2020 – 06/30/2020

All Day

Presented by:

Wake Forest Law School, the Wake Forest Center for Bioethics, Health & Society and the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy.

The symposium will be asynchronous, and all presentations will be accessible in tone and content here.


In February 2018, the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy sponsored its spring symposium, Isolated by the Law: The Legal and Ethical Implications of Quarantine in Public Health Emergencies. This symposium brought together top legal scholars and public experts to discuss federal and state quarantine policy following the SARS and Ebola epidemics.  The symposium also focused on more recent policy shifts with respect to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s long-standing global health.  The symposium, while providing a retrospective examination of quarantine policy, was also forward thinking in discussing lessons learned and ideas to be implemented should a wide-spread quarantine be necessary in the future.

We couldn’t know at that time how significant our symposium would become.  Indeed, the general belief was that the role of large-scale quarantine had been virtually eliminated by modern public health prevention and treatment measures, including immunization, antibiotic and antiviral medications, respirators, and supportive therapy.  However, as we recognized at that time, social-distancing measures, such as quarantine, may be needed to contain or mitigate contagious diseases, especially those caused by newly emerging pathogens for which no vaccine or cure exists.

Not only did that symposium provide an opportunity for meaningful scholarly collaboration, many of the scholars who presented at Isolated by the Law, Part 1 decided it would provide a public benefit to update the 2018 presentations in light of current legal and ethical issues with COVID-19.  We also decided to reach out and add other legal and public health scholars who are doing critical legal, public health, and social justice work in this area.  To that end, Wake Forest Law School, the Wake Forest Center for Bioethics, Health & Society and the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy have banded together to organize Isolated by the Law, Part 2, a virtual, asynchronous symposium, which is available here.

This virtual symposium will examine the critical balance between public health interests and individual rights presented by this COVID-19 pandemic, along with issues such as how vulnerable populations are adversely affected, due process concerns, preemption, critical standard of care, allocation of scarce resources, such as ventilators, and medication, along with the many public policy concerns involved, including but not limited to, the strong link between economic security and compliance, the FDA’s role in promoting safe and effective treatments and vaccines, and providing emergency use authorization and expanded access for investigational drugs. The symposium will focus both on global and domestic public health policy and also provide advice for lifting current social and economic restrictions.

We have had an outstanding response to Isolated by the Law, Part 2 from our former participants as well as the new scholars, scientists, and public health experts we have asked to participate.  Each participant has agreed to tape a 15-minute presentation which will be embedded on a page on the Wake Forest Law website.

Confirmed speakers include:

  1. Professor Mark Rothstein, Herbert F. Boehl Chair of Law and Medicine and is and Founding Director of the Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy and Law at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.  He helped author the CDC’s response after the SARS epidemic. He plans to speak about American individualism, Asian collectivism, Canadian communitarianism, along with whether Americans are willing to sacrifice individual interests for the collective good? (https://louisville.edu/bioethics/directory/mark-a.-rothstein).
  2. Professor Wendy Parmet, Northeastern, Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law and Director, Center for Health Policy and Law; Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. She will speak about immigration, the public charge rule and COVID-19. (https://www.northeastern.edu/law/faculty/directory/parmet.html).
  3. Professor James Hodge, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law (Arizona)  Lincoln Professor Health Law and Ethics; Senior Sustainability Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability; Fellow, Center for the Study of Law, Science and Innovation, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; Director, Public Health Law Network – Western Region; Director, Public Health Law and Policy Program. His topic is COVID-19 and implementing a crisis standard of care. This will be a question and answer session.  (https://sustainability.asu.edu/person/james-hodge-jr/).
  4. Professor Emily Benfer, Columbia University, Visiting Associate Clinical Professor of Law.  She will discuss evictions and other ways pandemics that require shelter in place affect low-income individuals. (https://www.law.columbia.edu/faculty/emily-benfer).
  5. Professor Rob Gatter, Saint Louis University, Health Law Studies.  Professor Gatter plans to discuss the federal constitutional standard that applies to individual claims that state Covid-19 action violates a protected constitutional right.  (https://www.slu.edu/law/faculty/robert-gatter.php).
  6. Professor Mark Hall, Wake Forest School of Law, Fred D. and Elizabeth L. Turnage Professor of Law, Director of the Health Law and Policy Program.  Professor Hall will discuss the process of lifting and relaxing current economic, work, and social restrictions.  (https://law.wfu.edu/faculty/profile/hallma/). This will be a podcast.
  7. Professor Benjamin Meier, University of North Carolina School of Law, JD, LLM, PhD, Associate Professor of Global Health Policy.  His topic is global health law with a focus on International Health Regulations. (http://bmeier.web.unc.edu/).
  8. Professor Lindsay Wiley, American University School of Law, Director Health Law and Policy Program. She will discuss long-term mitigation strategies for COVID-19:  supports, restrictions, and surveillance. (https://www.wcl.american.edu/community/faculty/profile/wiley/bio).
  9. Professor Larry Gostin, Georgetown, University Professor, Director, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law; O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law. Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National & Global Health Law.  (https://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/lawrence-o-gostin/).
  10. Dr. Pat Lord, Wake Forest University, Department of Biology, Virology.  Dr. Lord will speak on the the science of viruses and COVID 19.  (http://biology.wfu.edu/faculty-research/pat-lord/).
  11. Professor Eang Ly Ngov, Associate Professor of Law, Barry University.  Professor Ngov will discuss constitutional and preemption issues that have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic. (https://www.barry.edu/law/future-students/faculty/staff/engov.html).  Prof. Ngov’s video, however, will not be available until June 2020.
  12.   Professor Erika Lietzan, Associate Professor of Law, Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship. Professor Lietzan will discuss the FDA process and its goals of robust proof of safety and effectiveness, the tradeoffs involved, and the reasons people sometimes seek earlier access, along with COVID-19 and the use of possible (unapproved) therapies for treatment. (https://law.missouri.edu/person/erika-lietzan/).
  13. Professor Christine Coughlin, Professor of Legal Writing, Wake Forest University School of Law.  She will discuss the effects of quarantine and shelter in place orders on vulnerable populations, and efforts that may be enacted to mitigate legal and personal jeopardy. (https://law.wfu.edu/faculty/profile/coughlcn/).