UW News

March 22, 2017

Race, health, justice topics for March 31 UW symposium on medical ethics

UW News

The United States continues to have severe, persistent inequities in health and health care between whites and people of color. Properly addressing these will require collaboration across medical, health, legal, economic and political fields.

The interdisciplinary 2017 Benjamin Rabinowitz Symposium in Medical Ethics on March 31 at the University of Washington, seeks to begin just such a discussion. The symposium, titled “Race, Health & Justice,” will bring together faculty researchers, students, guests and members of the public to discuss these disparities and place them in political, economic and historical context.

“These disparities and their causes are prevalent whether examined from the perspective of the clinic, or population health, or the policing and criminal justice systems,” said symposium organizer Carina Fourie, Benjamin Rabinowitz Assistant Professor in Medical Ethics in the UW Department of Philosophy, a co-sponsor of the event. “And yet, often discussions of these disparities are held in isolation and independently of each other.” The symposium seeks to encourage conversation and collaboration across disciplines in order to address racial disparities in health.

The event will include UW faculty from fields as disparate as biomedical informatics, pulmonary and critical care, social work, political science, English and philosophy.

It will include three panels of UW faculty presentations followed by a keynote address and a reception.

Panel 1: Racial inequities and the clinic: Implicit bias, distrust and provision of care.

  • “Managing Implicit Bias: Data Collection and Other Strategies,” Janice Sabin, research associate professor of biomedical informatics and medical education
  • “Racial Disparities at the End of Life,” Dr. Crystal Brown, UW Medicine
  • “Recognizing Legacies of Distrust,” doctoral student Tim Brown and associate professor Sara Goering, both in philosophy

Panel 2: Racial inequities in women’s health

  • “Evaluating Mechanisms of Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Survival,” Wendy Barrington, assistant professor, nursing
  • “The Black-White Mortality Gap in Endometrial Cancer,” Dr. Kemi Doll, assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology
  • “Birth Outcomes Among African American Women Over the Life Course,” Amelia Gavin, associate professor, social work

Panel 3: Freedom to be healthy? Health, health care and injustice

  • “The Afterlife of Slavery: Human Reproduction in Biocapitalism,” Alys Weinbaum, associate professor, English
  • “Dying Inside: Care, Control, and Freedom for Prisoners at the End of Life,” Johanna Crane, assistant professor, UW Bothell
  • “How Reactionary Politics affects Public Health,” Christopher Parker, professor, political science

Myisha Cherry, a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and a visiting fellow at Harvard University, will give a keynote address at 3:30 p.m. titled “Solidarity Care: How to Take Care of Each Other in Times of Struggle.”

The symposium will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 31 in Room 340 of the HUB. The event is full and registration has ended, but those interested in being added to a waiting list may email ponvins@uw.edu.

The event is sponsored by The Benjamin Rabinowitz Endowment in Medical Ethics, the Department of Philosophy, the School of Public Health, the Department of Sociology and the Program on Values in Society.


For more information or to arrange press interviews, contact Fourie at 206-543-6440 or fourie@uw.edu.