Exploring Ethics Series – Treating People Who Use Drugs: A Bioethics of Substance Use & Harm Reduction

Date: December 12, 2019


12:00pm – 1:00pm


10th Floor, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Conference Room 10

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC

Come and hear one of the WFU Bioethics Graduate Programs’ recent graduates speak – Rev. Sarah S. Howell-Miller, M.Div., MA.

Program Overview

In a clinical setting and beyond, people who use drugs (PWUD) frequently are assumed to be difficult, noncompliant, and untrustworthy—which affects both how they are treated and the outcome of that treatment. Harm Reduction— which is both a set of practical strategies to reduce the harm of drug use, and a social justice movement for the rights and dignity of PWUD—invites us to break down assumptions about substance use and seek a less punitive, more public health-oriented approach. Using the principles of bioethics and drawing on frameworks like the social model of disability, this talk will highlight ways to restore agency and dignity to PWUD. Tools and best practices will also be shared as relates to reducing harm among PWUD, families, communities and caring professionals.

Speaker – Bio

Sarah Howell-Miller comes from a religious leadership background, holding two degrees from Duke University: a bachelor’s degree in religion and a Master of Divinity. Sarah is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church and currently splits time among several vocations: leading an experiment in young adult Christian community on the campus of Crossnore School & Children’s

Home; serving on staff at Green Street United Methodist Church; and advocating for a more compassionate approach to substance use and addiction as a volunteer with Twin City Harm Reduction Collective and as a participant in and consultant for the national Faith in Harm Reduction leadership team. In August 2019, Sarah completed a M.A. in Bioethics at Wake Forest University, where she wrote her master’s thesis on substance use, harm reduction, disability studies, and liberation theology. Sarah is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who performs regularly with Martha Bassett and friends. She enjoys hiking, biking, cooking, reading, hanging out with friends, and spoiling her pitbulls along with her husband, Colin.

Register on site or through this link: https://northwestahec.wakehealth.edu/courses-and-events/60877

“What Knowing Might Mean” – A Performable Case Study by Bioethics Graduate Students

Date: December 5, 2019


7:00pm – 8:00pm


Room 410, Benson University Center

This performable case study (PCS) explores the challenges that anti-vaccine perspectives (known within that cohort as “vaccine hesitancy”) can have within a family and the community in which they live, work, and attend public school.

Presented by Bioethics Graduate Students, directed by Professor Richard Robeson.

Refreshments for follow, immediately outside Room 410, in the Isil Lounge

Bioethics Seminar: What Study Participants Can Teach Us About Research Ethics

Date: October 31, 2019


4:30pm – 5:30pm


Rebecca Dresser, JD, MS


Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education

Rebecca Dresser, JD, MS
Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor & Professor of Ethics in Medicine, Emerita
School of Law, Washington University in St. Louis

Auditorium, Rm 5107, 5th floor
Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education (BGCME)
475 Vine Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Rebecca Dresser’s extensive research and writing about research ethics and policy has been highly influential in health law and bioethics.  Her most recent book, Silent Partners: Human Subjects and Research Ethics, explores the many contributions that patients who have been research subjects can make to improving the design and conduct of research with human subjects.  Now that patient-centered outcomes have been acknowledged as important, even central to clinical trials, Professor Dresser’s perspective on the challenges and rewards of involving experienced subjects respectfully and productively is essential learning for anyone interested in clinical research.

Refreshments to follow – Auditorium Lobby Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education,
475 Vine Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

“Original Body of Pain” Free Documentary Film Screening & Discussion

Date: July 30, 2019

From Wake Forest University, showing in Asheville, NC, co-sponsored by the Center for Bioethics, Health & Society


5:30pm – 7:30pm


Diana Wortham Theatre
18 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

Join the filmmakers, film participants, and participating healthcare/recovery organizations for a free documentary screening and discussion.

Original Body of Painthe MFA thesis of filmmakers Dominic Silva and SJ Wright (Wake Forest University | Documentary Film Program, ’18), follows families impacted by substance use disorders and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome – when infants are born exposed to opioids and other drugs and must withdraw from them.

But this film isn’t a sob story or a portrait of shame. The film presents a raw, yet fully compassionate look at the issue, as women work through past traumas and attempt long-term recovery. But as these mothers fight for sobriety and family, unforeseen challenges will test their resolve and threaten their families’ futures.

Meanwhile home health nurse Joanna Christoph addresses the issue of NAS with grit and heart.


~ 5:30 | Audience arrives and takes seats
~ 6 pm | Film introduction and screening
~ 6:55 pm | Panel discussion with film participants and recovery workers
~ 7:10 | Audience Q&A
~ 7:30 | End


There are several lots adjacent to Diana Wortham, including Pack Square Garage, Pack Square Parking, McLaurin Parking, and Biltmore Avenue Parking Garage.


*While this is a free event, you must reserve your ticket at Eventbrite in order to be admitted. After that, make sure to let your friends know you’re coming on Facebook by RSVPing and sharing our event.


Email us at originalbodyofpain@gmail.com

Bioethics Lecture: “How Wisely are We Choosing?”

Date: February 5, 2019


4:00pm – 5:00pm


Howard Brody, MD, PhD

Howard Brody, MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Family Medicine,
University of Tennessee-Knoxville

The rationing debate has generally addressed the spectrum of high-value to low-value care, with an uncertain dividing line between them. However, if there exists a category of no-value care, many of the ethical problems disappear. The Choosing Wisely campaign has been one way to address no-benefit care, although this message has not been consistently conveyed. Dr. Brody’s lecture examines the pros and cons of the Choosing Wisely campaign to date and assesses its future.

Auditorium,  Room 4802,
WFIQ/Wake Downtown Campus
455 Vine Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Refreshments to follow – Room 4503, 4th Floor Boardroom,
WFIQ/ Wake Downtown Campus, 455 Vine Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Three Generations – No Imbeciles: The History of the Eugenics Movement in America

Date: February 26, 2018


12:00pm – 1:00pm


Wake Forest University, School of Law

Dr. Paul Lombardo, Regents’ Professor & Bobby Lee Cook Professor of Law, Georgia State Univeristy.

Dr. Lombardo will discuss the history and implications of the American Eugenics Movement and share the disturbing behind-the-scenes story of Buck v. Bell, a Supreme Court case that upheld Virginia’s sterilization law. There will be ample time for Q&A and lunch will be served.

Dr. Lombardo has served as a senior advisor to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues and published extensively on topics including eugenics, health law, medico-legal history, and bioethics. His books include: “Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court and Buck v. Bell (2008) and A Century of Eugenics in America: From the Indiana Experiment to the Human Genome Era (2011).” Among other things, Dr. Lombardo has served as a consultant for a U.S. Memorial Holocaust Museum exhibit as well as for several films exploring the impact of eugenic screening.

Monday, 26 February 2018, 12:00-1:00 PM, Room 3221, Worrell Professional Center, School of Law, Wake Forest University

The Affordable Care Act: Is It Working or Failing?

Date: November 1, 2016


Mark Hall, JD, Director of Health Law and Policy Program, Fred D. & Elizabeth L. Turnage Professor of Law; Founding Director, Center for Bioethics, Health & Society, and co-director, the Master’s degree program in Bioethics, Wake Forest University


5:00-6:00 PM – Refreshments to follow
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium, Room 404, Wake Forest University

Recognitions and Relationships: Solidarity & the Moral Imagination

Date: October 11, 2016


Bruce Jennings, MA,   Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy &
Center for Biomedical Ethics & Society, Vanderbilt University Medical Center;
Senior Fellow, Center for Humans & Nature; Fellow & Senior Advisor, The Hastings Center


5:00-6:00 PM – Refreshments to follow
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium, Room 404, Wake Forest University

Genetics & Inequality

Date: September 13, 2016


William A. Darity, Jr., PhD,  Samuel DuBois  Cook Professor of Public Policy,  Sanford School of Public Policy; Professor of African and African American Studies; Professor of Economics Affiliate of the Center for Child and Family Policy;  Faculty Research Scholar of DuPRI’s Population Research Center; Affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, Duke University


5:00-6:00 PM, Refreshments to follow
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium, Room 404, Wake Forest University

Performable Case Study – “Perhaps A Level Field” – The (Bio)Ethics of Third-Party Litigation Funding

Performed by Spring 2016 Performable Case Studies Class (BIE 727)

Monday 25 April 7:00-8:00 pm

Room 409, Benson University Center, Wake Forest University

The case concerns the ways in which a person who has been injured by a medical device or a questionable medical intervention can become a means to a lucrative end — “investment” or “claim asset” — due to the growing financial services practice of lending to plaintiffs and plaintiffs’ attorneys in class action litigation.

Whether this is exploitative or empowers plaintiffs with pecuniary resources that would otherwise be out of reach — “leveling the field” — is one of a number of issues that the case study interrogates, through the experience of a medically and legally vulnerable patient.

Refreshments to follow

For further information about the Bioethics Seminar Series, please contact Stephanie Reitz:

<reitzsct@wfu.edu> or 758-4256. Website: http://bioethics.wfu.edu/