Register for Medical Ethics Symposium - Life Support: The Role of Family, Friends and Community in Health and Healthcare 

Submitted by Kate Goldyn on

Life Support: The Role of Family, Friends and Community in Health and Healthcare

A Benjamin Rabinowitz Symposium in Medical Ethics

Date: Friday April 13, 2018, 9:45am-5:00pm

Location: Waterfront Activities Center of the University of Washington, Great Room

Medical Ethics has often focused on the relationships between patients and healthcare workers. And yet much healthcare and social support comes from, or is expected from, family, friends and the community. Additionally, treatment decision-making does not fall to patients alone - e.g. guardians may make decisions about continuing or halting treatment. How should we understand the roles of these groups in providing care and support? Which communities or forms of support are most meaningful? What role should the state and citizens play in comparison to families and friends? Who should be included in medical decision-making? Who counts as ‘family’ and should ‘family’ really count?

This one-day interdisciplinary symposium poses and aims to answer questions of these kind, focusing particularly on patients or care-givers who are vulnerable, marginalized or oppressed.

 To register, please click on this link: Registration. Or email for questions


09:45-10:15am: Welcome

10:15am-12:15pm: Who Cares? Images and Realities of Family Caregiving

  • ‘Decision-Making in Neonatal Intensive Care: Determinants of Parental Preferences’, Elliott Weiss (Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Institute)
  • ‘The Myth of the Omnipresent Informal Dementia Caregiver’, Elena Portacolone (University of California, San Francisco)
  • ‘Friendship, Citizenship, and Abandonment: Older Adults with Dementia without Family Caregivers’, Janelle Taylor (University of Washington)

1:15-3:15pm: Support and its Lack: Race, Gender, Diversities

  • ‘Race-Related Stress and Hopelessness: Social Support a Protective Mechanism?’, Mary Odafe and Rheeda Walker (University of Houston)
  • ‘Gendering Capacity: The Two-Sided Vulnerability of Survivors of Abuse’, Gina Campelia (University of Washington)
  •  ‘Meaningfulness within Voice-Hearing Communities’, Laura Guidry-Grimes (University of Arkansas for Medical Science)

3:30-5:00pm: Keynote Speech, Spring Philosophy Colloquium and Charles W. Bodemer Lecture:

                     ‘Why Families Matter’, Hilde Lindemann (Professor Emerita, Michigan State University) 

Organized by: Carina Fourie, Gina Campeliaand Blake Hereth (University of Washington), in conjunction with THINK – The Health and Inequality Network

 The generous sponsors of the Symposium are: the Benjamin Rabinowitz Endowment in Medical Ethics, the Program on Values in Society, the Charles W. Bodemer Fund at the Department of Bioethics and Humanities, and the Department of Philosophy, all at the University of Washington.