Health Policy & Bioethics Consortia

The Health Policy & Bioethics Consortia is a monthly series that convenes two international experts from different fields or vantage points to discuss how biomedical innovation and health care delivery are affected by various ethical norms, laws, and regulations. They are organized by the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics and the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL) at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in collaboration with the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

Support provided by the Oswald DeN. Cammann Fund at Harvard University.

2023-2024 Events

  • Can Food as Medicine Improve Health Equity?

    May 10, 2024 | 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. ET
    Registration is Open

    Click here to register. Zoom details will be provided in your registration confirmation email.

    Accessing nutritious food is important for individuals’ health and promoting public health. The Food Is Medicine movement includes prescribing food, teaching kitchens, and can reduce food-insecurity and improve health equity. This session will explore new policy initiatives and experiences including food in America’s fractured health care system.


    Jacob Mirsky, MD, Medical Director, MGH Revere Food Pantry; Instructor, Harvard Medical School

    Steven T. Lopez, MPP/MPH, DrPH candidate, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


    Erin Sharoni, ALM, MBE, Visiting Postgrad Research Fellow in Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

  • Placebos Without Deception

    April 12, 2024 | 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. ET
    Registration is Open No Recording

    Click here to register. Zoom details will be provided in your registration confirmation email. Please note, this session will not be recorded or shared on our YouTube at a later date.

    Recent randomized controlled trials demonstrate that open-label placebos can improve outcomes, like pain management and reduced opioid use, even when patients know they are receiving a placebo. These findings shift the conversation about placebos from whether deception is ethical to what role they should play in health care.


    Ted Kaptchuk, MD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Director of the Program in Placebo Studies & Therapeutic Encounter (PiPS), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

    Phoebe Friesen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Equity, Ethics, and Policy, Department of Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University


    Josh D. Brown, MD, Attending Child Psychiatrist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Do You Mind? Developing the Ethics of New Neurotechnologies

    March 8, 2024 | 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. ET
    No Recording

    Please note: this session was NOT recorded and will not be uploaded to YouTube.


    New neurotechnologies, including deep brain stimulation and implants, offer the promise of improving treatment for psychiatric conditions, disorders of consciousness, and brain injury. Simultaneously, they raise new questions about the ethics and policy implications of directly intervening in the brain. In this session, experts in neurotechnologies and ethics will explore how they integrate neuroethics alongside clinical research advances.


    Laura Cabrera, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Rock Ethics Institute; Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and Philosophy, Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Career Chair in Neuroethics, Pennsylvania State University

    Michael J. Young, MD, MPhil, Associate Director, MGH Neurorecovery Clinic; Neurologist, Massachusetts General Hospital


    Peter Zuk, PhD, Research Fellow, Brain Bioethics Lab, Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics

  • Unionization in Health Care

    February 9, 2024 | 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on the Petrie-Flom Center's YouTube channel.


    For millions who work in health care settings, including doctors, nurses, technicians, home health and nursing home workers, and environmental services and nutrition specialists, the difficult days of the COVID-19 pandemic greatly amplified existing concerns about work conditions, staffing shortages, patient safety, and risks to their own health and wellbeing. Stressful conditions have contributed to the massive shortage of primary care providers in the United States, with far fewer medical school students choosing to go into primary care. Unionization efforts among physicians-in-training (interns, residents, and fellows) have been in the media spotlight and in October 2023, tens of thousands of unionized workers at Kaiser Permanente walked out in the largest healthcare strike in American history.

    This event will cover legal and ethical aspects of unionization among health care workers and a snapshot of the current state of unionization. Is it legal for physicians-in-training to unionize? Is it ethical to do so in all circumstances? How might unionization affect the crisis in primary care? How is unionization aligned – or not – with patient interests?


    Susannah Baruch, JD, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center, Harvard Law School

    Steven Ury, JD, General Counsel, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

    Ahmed Ahmed, MD, MPP, MSc, Resident Physician, Department of Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

  • Telehealth: Zooming Into the Future of Medicine

    December 8, 2023 | 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.


    Telehealth use has rapidly increased over the last five years. It promises the potential to reduce health disparities in hard-to-reach populations and ease of access to care. However, telehealth also raises questions about patient confidentiality, informed consent, and clinicians’ scope of practice. This session will discuss the growth in telehealth use, opportunities to meet more health needs, and the policy and ethics questions that arise from this recent entrant into health care provision.


    Ateev Mehrotra, MD, MPH, Professor of Health Care Policy, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School; Associate Professor of Medicine and Hospitalist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

    Smita Das, MD, PhD, MPH, Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University; Medical Director of Psychiatry, Lyra Health


    Ameet Sarpatwari, PhD, JD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate Epidemiologist, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Assistant Director, PORTAL

  • Veteran's Health Administration and Pharmacy Management: Lessons for Medicare and Markets

    November 10, 2023 | 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    The VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services oversee the prescription drug benefit for the VA, which serves over 9 million veterans. A key component is a national formulary that determines which drugs are included in the benefit based on access and contracting to control VA spending. The national formulary promotes uniform benefits for all enrollees, appropriate prescribing, and reduced costs. This year, another federal health service, Medicare, will begin negotiating drug prices for the first time. In this session, experts on pharmaceutical markets and the VA formulary will discuss what can be learned from the VA program and how to ensure appropriate access to drugs while balancing cost concerns.


    Inmaculada (Inma) Hernandez, PharmD, PhD, Professor, Division of Clinical Pharmacy; Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UC San Diego

    Chester (Bernie) B. Good, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh; Director, Center for Value-Based Pharmacy Initiatives; Senior Medical Director, UPMC Health Plan Insurance Division


    Leah Rand, DPhil, Research Scientist, PORTAL, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Lecturer, Harvard Medical School

  • The Indian Health Service: Improving Health Equity or Failing to Meet Obligations?

    Friday, September 15, 2023 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    The Indian Health Service (IHS) is the federal agency responsible for delivering health care services to American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Despite treaty obligations, the IHS has been chronically underfunded, even in comparison to other federal health programs, and health disparities persist. This session considered the complex laws governing Tribal and federal health programs, which were highlighted during COVID-19 public health actions, efforts to improve Tribal health care, and what can be done in the future for the federal government to meet its obligations.


    Tom Sequist, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Mass General Brigham; Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School

    Aila Hoss, JD, Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law


    Tony V. Pham, MD, Research Fellow in Indigenous Community Well-Being, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital

Leah Rand

Leah Rand, DPhil

Research Scientist, PORTAL at Brigham and Women's Hospital
Affiliate, HMS Center for Bioethics

Google Scholar

Past Events

  • Discriminating Devices: The Case of Pulse Oximetry

    April 14, 2023 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    Recently, numerous studies have revealed that commonly used medical devices, like pulse oximeters and spirometers, were designed to a "default" of light-skin tones or apply racial adjustments to outputs. This results in inferior diagnosis and care for Black and other minority patients. This session will explore how we got to this point where devices discriminate, how researchers identify racial bias in routine practice, and what changes would advance ethical, equitable medicine.


    Thomas S. Valley, MD, MSc
    Assistant Professor, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Michigan

    Amy Moran-Thomas, PhD
    Associate Professor of Anthropology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


    Frazer Tessema
    PORTAL and Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago

  • Making Pharmaceuticals Accessible and Affordable

    March 10, 2023 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    New prescription drugs and vaccines are protected by patents, which allow manufacturers to charge monopoly prices and prevent others from entering the market. In this session, experts in patents and vaccine development will identify and discuss challenges to making drug innovations open-access and opportunities for patent reform to improve access to new and important medicines.


    Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD
    Associate Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor, Baylor College of Medicine
    Co-Director, Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development

    Tahir Amin, LLB, Dip LP
    Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge (I-MAK)


    Sean Tu, JD, PhD
    Professor of Law, College of Law, West Virginia University

  • Climate Change and Health

    February 10, 2023 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Not Recorded

    As one of the largest economic sectors globally, health care represents nearly 10% of GDP spending across O.E.C.D. countries. This significant activity produces an estimated 5-10% of global greenhouse gases, presenting opportunities to directly reduce this impact through changes to energy supply, waste, purchasing, and care models. Equally important, health care has a special interest in addressing climate change. Across the globe, human health is negatively impacted by the ramifications of climate change, such as heat, storms, flood, and fires. The health care sector must provide leadership on this critical issue to protect and improve the health of its patients.

    What should the role of the health care sector be when it comes to climate change policies and advocacy? Dr. Aaron Bernstein and Anand Bhopal discussed the opportunities and challenges. This consortium was hosted by the Petrie-Flom Center. Please contact them at 617-496-4662 or if you have questions.


    Carmel Shachar, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center

    Aaron Bernstein, Interim Director, The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE); Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Pediatrician, Boston Children's Hospital

    Anand Bhopal, Takemi Fellow, Takemi Program in International Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; PhD Candidate, University of Bergen


    Alicia Ely Yamin, Lecturer on Law and Senior Fellow in Global Health & Rights, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School; Adjunct Senior Lecturer on Health Policy & Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

  • Treating Healthy Clinical Trial Participants Fairly

    January 13, 2023 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    Many medical advances rely on Phase I trials that enroll healthy participants to test the safety of new therapies. These trials raise questions about what makes for a "good" trial and whether participants are compensated fairly for the risks and burdens of the research. This event brings together experts on clinical trial policy to discuss healthy participants' experiences and good trial governance.


    Jill Fisher, PhD, Professor of Social Medicine, UNC School of Medicine

    Holly Fernandez-Lynch, JD, MBE, Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania


    Benjamin Silverman, MD, Instructor for Medical Ethics & Professionalism, Harvard Medical School; IRB Chair, Mass General Brigham

  • What is Essential? Selecting the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines

    December 9, 2022  |  12:30 – 2 p.m. ET
    Not Recorded

    The Model List of Essential Medicines of the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies priority drugs for low- and middle-income countries to include in health service coverage. The List influences formulary choices around the world and affects access to medications for millions of people. Thus, the list functions as both guidance and a political tool. Four international prescription drug experts will join us to discuss the List, challenges facing the selection of medicines, and how to promote fair access to important drugs.


    Nicola Magrini, MDDirector General, AIFA—Italian Medicines Agency

    Wilbert Bannenberg, MDPartner, HERA and Chairperson, Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation


    Kerstin Vokinger, PhD, MD, JDProfessor for Law, Medicine, and Technology, University of Zurich

    Thomas Hwang, MDClinical Fellow in Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

  • Unconsented: Research Conducted With Exceptions to Informed Consent Waivers

    October 14, 2022  |  12:30 – 2 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    Emergency medical situations need evidence-based interventions, but clinical trials in these contexts are challenging in part because patients cannot provide informed consent. Should we not conduct traditional trials in these circumstances? Is community-level consent an appropriate substitute? How can we handle variations in trust that different communities have in the medical system? This session will consider the ethical and legal challenges of emergency clinical research, policies related to waiving informed consent, and lessons learned from studies that have received waivers.


    Neal W. Dickert, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, EECRI and Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology

    Carrie Sims, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Trauma, Critical Care, and Burn
    Ohio State University College of Medicine


    William B. Feldman, MD, DPhil, Instructor in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

  • Mental Health Care in Crisis: Current Challenges for In-Patient Psychiatric Care

    September 9, 2022  |  12:30 – 2 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    Patients with psychiatric disease needing in-patient care have reportedly been waiting days, and sometimes even months, due to bed and staffing shortages. How did the US health care system reach this point? This session will consider the causes of the current crisis, policy and ethics challenges to providing the most appropriate care, and what solutions would promote better care and resource availability.


    Dominic Sisti, PhD, Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and Director, Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics in Behavioral Health Care, University of Pennsylvania

    Susan M. Szulewski, MD, MBA, Associate Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director, Clinical Evaluation Center, McLean Hospital

    Jennifer Goetz, MD, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School


    Benjamin Barsky, JD, MBE, PhD Candidate in Health Policy, Harvard University

  • Supplying International Aid Effectively: Ethics and Law

    April 8, 2022 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    Confronting pandemics and improving health in low-income countries requires ambitious public health plans. Global health responses to HIV/AIDS and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis can provide guidance on how to garner public support and gain financial and political commitments to implement large-scale public health interventions and systems. In this session experts will discuss what it takes to finance and operationalize major public health programs.


    Jim Yong Kim, MD, PhD, Vice Chairman and Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners; Former President (2012-2019), The World Bank Group

    Teeb Al-Samarrai, MD, Director of Science and Policy, Office of the Surgeon General

    Prashant Yadav, PhD, MBA, Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School


    Rebecca Weintraub, MD, Founder, Director, Global Health Delivery Project, Harvard University;
    Assistant Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

  • Wherefore ART? Ethics of, and Differential Access to, Assisted Reproductive Technologies

    March 11, 2022 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    Infertility diagnostics and assisted reproductive technologies are not required in insurance coverage. Although an increasing number of states have enacted mandates, access to them remains inconsistent across the country, raising ethical concerns about whose parenthood is supported. In this session, two experts will examine system and legal barriers and opportunities related to assisted reproductive technologies.


    Judith Daar, JD, Ambassador Patricia L. Herbold Dean and Professor of Law; Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University

    Eli Adashi, MD, Professor of Medical Science, Brown University


    Bea Brown, MBE, Research Specialist, Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL)

  • Should Alexa Diagnose Alzheimer’s?

    February 11, 2022 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Not Recorded

    Technology is now part of our lives in ways that was not possible only ten to twenty years ago. Smart devices, like watches, phones, and speakers, can gather vast amounts of information about their users, often without the user's knowledge or consent. As technology continues to improve, many of these devices may also be leveraged to serve diagnostic functions. Technologies such as Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant can ambiently and continually monitor a variety of information about an individual's location, voice, and movement. As this technology merges with wearables, such as the Apple Watch or FitBit, it may become possible to diagnose a wide range of diseases, including Alzheimer's. But should it?

    To help answer that question, Dr. Barbara Evans and Dr. Jason Karlawish will discuss the medical, legal, and ethical implications of using such technology to diagnose diseases, such as Alzheimer's.


    Barbara J. Evans, JD, PhD, Stephen C. O'Connell Chair and Professor of Law, University of Florida Levin College of Law;Professor of Engineering, University of Florida Wertheim College of Engineering

    Jason Karlawish, MD, Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Neurology, University of Pennsylvania; Co-Director, Penn Memory Center


    David Simon, JD, Research Fellow, Digital Home Health, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School

  • A New Inheritance: Reshaping Our Environment with Gene Drives

    December 10, 2021 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    Breakthroughs in genetic technologies make possible a new method of changing our environments using gene drives, the introduction of certain traits into wild populations. From reducing the impact of invasive species to wiping out disease-carrying mosquitoes, gene drives offer the possibilities to improve human health. But, they also raise concerns—once this Pandora’s box is opened, can it ever be closed and what will be the lasting effects on other species? We will examine the science making gene drives possible, their potential to eradicate some diseases, and the ethical implications of research in the wild that reshapes our environment.


    Jason Delborne, PhD, Professor of Science, Policy, and Society University Faculty Scholar Genetic Engineering and Society Center Executive Committee Member North Carolina State University

    Omar Akbari, PhD, Professor Division of Biological Sciences Cell and Developmental Biology Section
    University of California, San Diego


    Insoo Hyun, PhD, Director of Research Ethics, Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School; Professor of Bioethics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

    *Joint event with the Ethics in Research and Biotechnology Consortia

  • Watching This Talk Will Save Your Life: Dealing with Health Misinformation in the COVID Era

    November 12, 2021 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    The COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine rollout has highlighted the broad reach and prevalence of health misinformation. From outright lies to fuzzy claims, what makes such misinformation convincing and why does it take hold? When misinformation threatens individuals’ or the public’s health, are its propagators protected by the First Amendment? We will examine the current state of health misinformation and what can be done to push back against its spread.


    Wendy Parmet, JD
    Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law and Director, Center for Health Policy and Law, Northeastern University School of Law

    Joseph Cappella, PhD
    Gerlad R. Miller Professor Emeritus of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania


    Michael Sinha, MD, JD, MPH
    Research Fellow, Harvard-MIT Center for Regulatory Science;  Affiliated Researcher, Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL)

  • A Long, Strange Trip: Turning Psychedelics into Therapeutics

    October 8, 2021 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    Psychedelics have been classified as schedule I substances—illegal to possess—since 1973, but research has increasingly highlighted potentially beneficial clinical applications of psychedelic treatment. Ballot initiatives and local ordinances have decriminalized some psychedelic substances, ushering in public discussion about the uses and abuses of drugs and law enforcement. In this session, we’ll hear from experts at the forefront of psychedelic research and advocacy about the ethical and legal challenges of proving that psychedelics can be effective and safe medicines.


    Sharmin Ghaznavi, MD, PhD
    Associate Director and Director of Cognitive Neuroscience, Center for the Neuroscience of Psychedelics, Massachusetts General Hospital; Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

    Rick Doblin, PhD
    Founder and Executive Director, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

    Mason Marks, MD, JD
    Senior Fellow, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law, Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School; Assistant Professor of Law, University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law

  • A Fair Shot: Vaccine Patent Protections and Global Access

    September 10, 2021 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    The spectacular clinical success of COVID-19 vaccines has been undermined by barriers to access to the vaccine, particularly in low- and middle-income settings around the world. Dissemination of the vaccine requires global coordination, which can be challenging in the face of patents and other barriers to sharing technological know-how. This session will explore how we have successfully distributed other essential medicines to patients around the world, what some of the novel issues are facing access to the COVID-19 vaccine, and the role of patents and patent waivers, donations, and other strategies in giving everyone a fair shot. 


    Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, PhD, JD  
    Professor of Law, Stanford Law School; Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy and Research

    Paul Farmer, MD, PhD 
    Kolokotrones University Professor Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine Harvard Medical School

    Hussain Lalani, MD, MPH
    Clinical Research Fellow

  • Health Care for Incarcerated Populations

    April 9, 2021 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Not Recorded

    Caring for populations in prisons raises distinct medical ethics and policy challenges, including pressures on the traditional doctor-patient relationship. Years of litigation have improved conditions in prisons and access to health care services but problems remain. In this panel, experts will share their experiences promoting change through the courts and law, describe how the COVID19 pandemic has been handled, and consider how ethical imperatives to secure equitable health care treatment and conditions can be pursued in the future.


    Robert Greifinger, MD  
    Correctional Health Care

    David Fathi, JD
    National Prison Project
    American Civil Liberties Union


    Shannon Bell, MD
    Assistant Professor
    Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Boston University School of Medicine

  • The ACA in the 2020s: Where Does U.S. National Health Coverage Go from Here?

    March 12, 2021 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    Since its passage over a decade ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded health care coverage for Americans but also faced constant litigation and uncertainty about its future, particularly in the last four years. With a new political administration now in place, the panelists will discuss the current state of ACA litigation and federal and state efforts that could improve the ACA and health care coverage in the U.S.


    Jonathan Oberlander, PhD, MPhil, MA
    Department Chair of Social Medicine
    Professor of Health Policy & Management
    University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

    Erin Fuse Brown, JD, MPH
    Cathy C. Henson Professor of Law
    Associate Professor of Law
    Center for Law, Health & Society
    Georgia State College of Law


    Michael Sinha, MD, JD, MPH
    Research Fellow
    Harvard-MIT Center for
    Regulatory Science
    Harvard Medical School

  • Medical Stereotypes: Confronting Racism and Disparities in U.S. Health Care

    February 12, 2021 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Not Recorded

    Minority racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. have long experienced disparities in health care access and have worse health outcomes, undermining broader social, political, and economic equity. Negative stereotypes in U.S. culture can affect how minority patients are perceived and treated.

    This session will address the harms caused by the current medical discourse and how both health systems and legal changes can improve outcomes in the future.


    Evelynn Hammonds, PhD, MS
    Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science,
    Professor of African and African American Studies, and Chair
    Department of the History of Science Harvard University
    Craig Konnoth, JD, MPhil
    Associate Professor of Law
    Director, Health Law Certificate
    University of Colorado Law School


    Michelle Morse, MD, MPH
    Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow
    Founding Co-Director, Equal Health

  • Investigational Drugs and Stem Cell Treatments: Legal and Ethical Considerations of Right to Try Laws

    December 11, 2020 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Recording on YouTube

    Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

    In May 2018, the Right to Try Act was signed into law, creating a new pathway for patients with life-threatening conditions to access investigational drugs prior to FDA approval. Unlike its expanded access program, the FDA plays a limited role in right to try, which is negotiated between the patient and the drug developer. Prior to the federal law, more than half of states had passed their own versions of right to try. With two years of experiencing the law in action, two expert panelists will consider the effects of right-to-try. Early access to investigational drugs also raises numerous ethical questions, like whether individual patients should be able to bypass research, who bears liability for harms, whether informed consent is possible for an investigational drug, and if early access will delay research that could benefit all patients.  


    Alison Bateman-House, MPH, PhD
    Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine

    George Daley, MD, PhD
    Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
    Harvard Medical School


    Insoo Hyun, PhD
    Professor, Department for Bioethics
    Case Western University School of Medicine
    Director of Research Ethics
    Senior Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine, Part-time
    Harvard Medical School

  • The NFL, Youth Sport, and Concussions

    November 13, 2020 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
    Not Recorded

    Potential links between contact sports and chronic traumatic encephalopathy or other long-lasting neurological effects have received renewed public interest with high-profile lawsuits and debate about the dangers of sport. There are challenges with the evidence for drawing firm conclusions, making these debates especially contentious. The concerns about sport and head injury, especially for young players, are not new. Despite recognition of the dangers inherent in contact sports, there is a history of avoiding addressing the problem head-on. American culture surrounding football, lauded for its rough style of play, also influences our understandings of risk, injury, and changes to the sport. 


    Kathleen Bachynski, PhD, MPH
    Assistant Professor, Muhlenberg College  

    Grant Iverson, PhD
    Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Harvard Medical School 
    Director, Sports Concussion Program
    MassGeneral Hospital for Children 


    Cynthia Stein, MD, MPH
    Attending Physician, Sports Medicine Division
    Department of Orthopedic Surgery
    Director Medical Sports Medicine Fellowship Program