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

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)

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? (
  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. (
  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.  (
  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. (
  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.  (
  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.  ( 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. (
  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. (
  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.  (
  10. Dr. Pat Lord, Wake Forest University, Department of Biology, Virology.  Dr. Lord will speak on the the science of viruses and COVID 19.  (
  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. (  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. (
  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. (

Date : 02/18/2020


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Arthur Derse, MD, JD, Director and Professor, Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, Medical College of Wisconsin


Conference Rooms 1A and 1B, 1st Floor of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, WFBMC

Summary of Talk

Health care professionals (including emergency physicians) may have frequent interactions with police officers who are investigating alleged crimes. These officers may make requests or demands of health care professionals regarding patients. How should health care professionals respond to these demands? When should health care professionals comply and when should they refuse demands from law enforcement? What should be done when these demands conflict with what we health care professional understand to be our professional obligations to our patients? What ethical and legal challenges arise and how should they be analyzed and, if possible, resolved?


Registration Link: or register on site.

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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