UF-VA UNESCO Bioethics Unit celebrates World Bioethics Day 2018

World Bioethics Day 2018
World Bioethics Day speakers Drs. Thornton, Rahman, Shapiro, and Turner

On Friday, October 19, the UF-VA UNESCO Bioethics Unit met for presentations commemorating World Bioethics Day. UNESCO has 73 units of this particular program, and our unit was set up three years ago with the help of Dr. Russel D’Souza, chair of UN Bioethics Day in Haifa. Dr. Russel D’Souza phoned in from India with a welcome for our Bioethics Day celebration.

Additional talks were given throughout the morning:

  • Introductory Talk by Michael Shapiro, MD
  • Culturally Competent Care and Care of the Muslim Patient by Maryam Rahman, MD
  • Meeting Them Where They Are: Street Psychiatry with UF and Sulzbacher by Ana Turner, MD
  • Policy, Ethics, and Public Leadership by Kevin Baron, PhD
Joseph Thornton Presenting at World Bioethics Day
Dr. Joseph Thornton Presenting at World Bioethics Day

At noon, Beatriz Elena de Bruna, from Serenity Mindfulness Center, led the group through a 15 minute mindfulness meditation before Director of the UF-VA UNESCO Bioethics Unit, Joseph Thornton, MD gave the keynote Grand Rounds talk, Recovering Medical Ethics to a full DeWeese Auditorium.

Following Dr. Thornton’s talk a break out session for the psychiatry residents was held, where PGY-3 resident Jessica Khan, MD presented several medical ethics case studies.

A second break out session for the public was led by editorial assistant Caroline Nickerson. Nickerson presented on the Christensen Memorial Project, in particular the ethics curriculum. The ethics curriculum includes Dr. Christensen’s writings along with original content from other UF Psychiatry Department faculty.

The event concluded with a poster presentation by PGY-2 Tian Sui, MD.

Caroline Nickerson“World Bioethics Day is one of my favorite events of the year. I think it’s special that we’re part of a global tradition; that other people on the other side of the world are also meditating on the meaning of bioethics. We are intentional in our design to create an open forum for discussion.We engage in thoughtful debate and contemplation on a wide range of topics, ranging from laws that perpetuate medical neglect by parents, to culturally competent care, to ethical quandaries psychiatric residents may face — and many more! With thoughtful communication, we shed light on ethical dilemmas that may otherwise be shrouded in darkness and taboo, putting our society on the path to ethical solutions.”

-Caroline Nickerson, World Bioethics Day Organizer and Presenter

Our World Bioethics Day Celebration inspired spirited and meaningful conversation. To come to the next quarterly UF-VA Bioethics Unit meeting, contact Dr. Thornton at joethornton@ufl.edu or visit the website at https://bioethics.psychiatry.ufl.edu/

Jessica Khan presenting
PGY-3 resident Jessica Khan, MD presented several medical ethics case studies.
Bioethics Mindfulness
Beatriz Elena de Bruna leads a mindfulness meditation before the Grand Rounds presentation.
World Bioethics Day
World Bioethics Day speakers Drs. Kevin Baron, Ana Turner, Joseph Thornton, and Michael Shapiro