An annual campus-wide conversation on a crucial bioethics issue.

Hosted by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, Conversations in Bioethics brings together distinguished speakers and the broader community to explore a topic in bioethics and inspire leadership for change.

2019: Care and the Close of Life

This year’s panel held February 7th focused on End-of-Life Care. Live-stream link available here.

Our esteemed panelists include:

Eduardo Bruera, MD, FAAHPM – Professor of Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston – a palliative care physician, is Department Chair and Professor of Medicine in the  Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine, Division of Cancer Medicine

Perry Ann Reed, MBA, MS, FACHE – Executive Director, WakeMed Children’s Hospital – healthcare manager and clinical ethicist, is Executive Director, at WakeMed Children’s Hospital, Raleigh, North Carolina

John Duberstein, J.D. – widower of poet and writer Nina Riggs, author of the bestselling book The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying (2017, Simon and Schuster). Mr. Duberstein and Ms. Riggs are the parents of two young sons; they were married almost 17 years. Ms. Riggs lived with metastatic triple negative breast cancer for two years before her death at age 39.


“For me at the time — and I think this is indicative of the role of caregiver versus the role of the afflicted — that person is grappling with mortality. They are grappling with losing everything, but they are also going to be the absence. They are going to be the thing that is gone. And I was grappling with the fact of losing her, and going on.” – John Duberstein

For those interested in learning more about this topic or our incredible panelists, our esteemed Bioethics Research Library has curated this list of additional materials.


Learn more about this year’s event >>



Explore Our Conversations

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2015: Personal Genomics

Our genes are an essential part of the story of who we are, and will become. What that story means, how sure we may be of its details, how much of it we want to hear and how much we may want others to know of it—these are part of the Pandora’s box of questions […]

2016: Making Families

Rarely in our history has the notion of family been so fluid—or so contested. This year, we focused on the many ways that families can be built in an age of assisted reproductive technology, anonymous sperm donation, increasing acceptance of same-sex relationships, surrogate pregnancy and more. Questions of justice and law arise in relation to […]

2017: Disability

What is a disability, anyway? In an era of ever-growing pharmaceutical enhancement, what counts as intellectually disabled, and why would that matter? How does the way we define disability (and normalcy) impact the just distribution of resources in society — and the way society treats those who happen to fall outside the norm? How are foundational […]

2018: Data Ethics

We willingly share data about ourselves all the time. Consider the amount of data you share intentionally in the course of one day: on social media, on convenience apps, on ride-hailing services. What happens to all that data? We are coming to understand that it paints a picture of individuals, communities and our world that […]