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The Dean's Lecture Series
Alexander Ming Fisher Lecture
2011-2012 events
past events

Dean's Distinguished Lecture in the Basic Sciences

The Cartwright Lecture

Dean's Distinguished Lecture in the Clinical Sciences

David Seegal Alpha Omega Alpha Visiting Professorship Lecture

Heidelberger-Kabat Lecture

Dean's Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities

Innovation in Biological and Medical Sciences Distinguished Lecture

Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Lecture

Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Professorship Lecture

Thomas Q. Morris Symposia

Previous lectures:

Lecture Videos



Alexander Ming Fisher Lecture

The Alexander Ming Fisher Memorial Lecture on Death and Dying was established in the early 1970s by E. Douglas Southwick to commemorate the life of Alexander Ming Fisher, M.D., a graduate of Columbia University, and to institute a yearly lecture series on the topics of death and dying. Since 1974, Alexander Ming Fisher lecturers have explored a wide variety of issues including family care in terminal illness, death and public policy, the impact of AIDS on the practice of medicine, physician-assisted suicide, Medicare and terminal illness, and genetic engineering and the prolonging of life.

Available Videos:
Speakers: Robert D. Truog, MD
Lecture Date:  December 2, 2013
Lecture Title: "Death, Brain Death, and Organ Transplantation"

2013-2014 EVENTS

“Death, Brain Death, and Organ Transplantation”

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
4:30 p.m.
Alumni Auditorium, First Floor
650 West 168th Street

Robert D. Truog, MDRobert D. Truog, MD Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, Anaesthesia, & Pediatrics
Director, Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School
Executive Director, Institute for Professionalism & Ethical Practice
Senior Associate in Critical Care Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital

Robert D. Truog, MD is the Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, Anaesthesiology, and Pediatrics and director of the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Truog received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is board-certified in pediatrics, anesthesiology, and pediatric critical care medicine.

As director of the Center for Bioethics, Dr. Truog has overall responsibility for the center’s many activities, including a required course in medical ethics and professionalism for undergraduate medical students, the Harvard Bioethics Fellowship program, and the center’s many workshops, seminars, and public forums.

Dr. Truog also practices pediatric intensive care medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he has served for more than 25 years, including a decade as chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine. Also at Children’s, he is executive director of the Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, where he creates and teaches highly interactive seminars to enhance the relational and communication skills of clinicians.

Dr. Truog has published more than 250 articles in bioethics and related disciplines. He authored current national guidelines for providing end-of-life care in the intensive care unit. His books include “Talking with Patients and Families about Medical Error: A Guide for Education and Practice” (2010, JHUP) and “Death, Dying, and Organ Transplantation” (2012, Oxford). In 2013 he was honored with the Spinoza Chair at the University of Amsterdam.

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2012 - Diane Meier, M.D., Vice Chair for Public Policy and Professor, Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute and Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethic; Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai

2011 - Jimmie C. Holland, M.D., Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

2010 - Craig Blinderman, M.D. (Moderator), Assistant Professor of Palliative Care (in Anesthesiology and Medicine),
Director, Adult Palliative Medicine, Columbia University

2010 - Robert Pardi Jr., Dr. Desiree Pardi’s husband
Co-Founder & COO, Evolvence Capital

2010 - Betty Lim, M.D., Assistant Professor, Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Director, Samuels Palliative Care Project, Jewish Home Lifecare, New York City>

2009 - David Rieff, Journalist and Author

2008 - Brigadier General Loree K. Sutton, M.D., Director, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, "Waging Hope in the Shadow of Death."

2007 - Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D., President of The Hastings Center

2006 – Joan Didion is the author of five novels, Run River, Play It as It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer, Democracy, and The Last Thing He Wanted, and eight books of nonfiction, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, Salvador, Miami, After Henry, Political Fictions, Where I Was From, and The Year of Magical Thinking.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In 2005 she was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal in Criticism and Belles Lettres, and also the National Book Award in Nonfiction.

2005 – Kathleen M. Foley, M.D., Attending Neurologist, Pain & Palliative Care Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center , Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience and Clinical Pharmacology, Cornell University Medical College, and Medical Director, International Palliative Care Initiative, Open Society Institute

2004 - Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.,Director, Center for Bioethics Emanuel and Robert Hart Chair of Bioethics Chair, Department of Medical Ethics, University of Pennsylvania

2003 – James Q. Wilson, Ph.D., Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University; James Collins Professor Emeritus of Management and Public Policy, UCLA

2001 - Nancy S. Wexler, M.D., Higgins Professor of Neuropsychology, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University

2000 - Neil Gillman, Ph.D., Aaron Rabinowitz & Simon H. Rifkind Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Daniel Callahan, Ph.D., director of international programs, the Hastings Center

1998 - Joanne Lynn, M.D., director, Center to Improve the Care of the Dying; professor of health care science, George Washington University School of Medicine

1997 - Bruce C. Vladeck, Ph.D., professor of health policy, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

1996 - Daniel Callahan, Ph.D., director of international programs, the Hastings Center

1995 - Sherwin B. Nuland, M.D., clinical professor of surgery, Yale University

1994 - George Soros, founder and chairman, the Soros Foundation

1993 - Christine K. Cassel, M.D., F.A.C.P., professor of medicine and public policy studies, chief, Section of General Internal Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center

1992 - H. Tristram Englehardt, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and philosophy, Center for Ethics, Medicine and Public Issues, Baylor College of Medicine

1991 - Kenneth Ryan, M.D., professor and chairman, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital

1990 - Rabbi Moses Tendler, Rabbi Isaac and Bella Tendler Professor of Medical Ethics, Yeshiva University

1989 - Edwin Cassem, M.D., acting chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital

1988 - Samuel O. Thier, president, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences

1987 - Merle Sande, M.D., professor of medicine, University of California at San Francisco; chief, medical service, San Francisco General Hospital

1986 - Rev. John Parris, professor of social ethics, Holy Cross College; adjunct professor of medicine, University of Massachusetts

1985 - Ida M. Martinson, R.N., Ph.D., Health Care Nursing, School of Nursing, University of California at San Francisco

1984 - Francis D. Moore, M.D., Mosely Professor Emeritus of Surgery, Harvard University

1983 - Robert Jay Lifton, M.D., Foundation's Fund Research Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University

1981 - Alexander M. Capron, L.L.B., executive director, President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research

1980 - Raymond S. Duff, M.D., professor of pediatrics, Yale University

1979 - Leon Kass, M.D., Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Biology, University of Chicago

1978 - Edwin Schneidman, Ph.D., professor of thanatology, Neuropsychiatric Institute, Unversity of California at Los Angeles

1977 - Robert Kastenbaum, Ph.D., professor of psychology, University of Massachusetts

1976 - Jeanne Quint Benoliel, R.D., D.N.Sc., professor and chairman, University of Washington School of Nursing

1975 - Colin Murray Parkes, M.D., Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, London, England

1974 - Cicely Saunders, O.B.E., M.R.C.P., medical director, St. Christopher's Hospice, London, England


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