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Pediatric Bioethics Conference

2011 Pediatric Bioethics Conference

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The Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children's Hospital hosted its seventh annual international pediatric bioethics conference, "Who’s Responsible for the Children: Exploring the Boundaries of Clinical Ethics and Public Policy," on July 22 and 23, 2011, in Seattle. The conference featured nationally recognized speakers in bioethics and drew more than 200 participants from across the nation and around the world.

2011 Bioethics Conference Introduction

Who's Responsible for the Children? Exploring the Boundaries of Clinical Ethics and Public Policy

Presented by the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics 

While most agree that healthcare providers, institutions and government agencies have obligations to children, understanding what it means to meet these responsibilities is complicated by limited resources and competing priorities. Some suggest that we have special obligations to children because they are dependent on others to advocate for their needs. Others suggest that children, particularly infants, should be prioritized below able-bodied adults because of their limited contribution to society. The political process by which these issues get resolved at a community level is complex and contentious, yet healthcare providers and institutions must make tough decisions daily:

  • Under what circumstances should individual providers or healthcare institutions extend medical care to children whose families cannot pay?
  • Do providers’ responsibilities extend beyond the walls of the clinic? How do we balance obligations to provide better healthcare with obligations to improve other factors that influence health, such as diet, exercise, housing and education?
  • Do providers have an obligation to tell families about healthcare options that are not "available" or will not be provided because of financial constraints?
  • Should care to children be prioritized based on social, physical or mental health status?
    • Children who have expensive technology-intensive care needs, such as ventilators, dialysis or transplants?
    • Children with intellectual disabilities who require special resources, yet will remain dependent on society?
    • Children who have mental healthcare needs?
    • Children who are undocumented?
  • How will healthcare reform affect the goal of providing for the basic healthcare needs of all children?

2011 Pediatric Bioethics Conference Presentations

Day 1

Welcome and Introduction
Benjamin S. Wilfond, MD (PDF)

Moderator: Benjamin S. Wilfond, MD  

Is There an Ethical Obligation to Provide Healthcare to All Children?
Presented by Douglas S. Diekema, MD, MPH (PDF)
View the presentation (PPTX) 

The Obligations of HCWs to Get Flu Shots
Presented by Arthur Caplan, PhD (PDF)
View the presentation (PPTX) 

Moderator: Holly Tabor, PhD (PDF) 

Pediatricians' Obligations to Care for Under- and Uninsured Children
Presented by Joel Frader, MD, MA (PDF)
View the presentation (PPTX) 

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Ethical Dilemmas for Middle Managers in Academic Medical Centers
Presented by John Lantos, MD (PDF)
View the presentation (PPTX) 

Panel and Questions: Art Caplan, Joel Frader, John Lantos, Doug Diekema

Afternoon session

Moderator: Maureen Kelley, PhD (PDF) 

Bioethics and the Health of Children
Presented by Larry Churchill, PhD (PDF)
View the presentation (PPTX) 

A Realistic Moral Right in the U.S. to Basic Healthcare: Where Do Children Fit In?
Presented by Paul Menzel, PhD (PDF)
View the presentation (PPTX) 

Panel and Questions: Larry Churchill, Paul Menzel

A Parent’s Perspective: Navigating the Healthcare System
Moderator: Lyn Kratz, MSW (PDF)
Parent Panel: Jen and Paul Faultner, Melinda Woods, Jessica Lucas

Concluding Comments and Adjourn

Day 2

Welcome and Introduction
Douglas S. Diekema, MD, MPH

Moderator: Douglas S. Diekema, MD, MPH 

The Social Determinants of Health: Why Insurance and Access Are Just the Beginning
Presented by Kathryn L. Moseley, MD, MPH (PDF)

Early Influences Last a Lifetime: Inequality and Health
Presented by Stephen Bezruchka, MD, MPH (PDF)
View the presentation (PPTX)

Social Inequalities in Children’s Health: Ethical and Policy Implications
Presented by Erika Blacksher, PhD (PDF)
View the presentation (PPTX) 

Panel and Questions: Stephen Bezruchka, Erika Blacksher, Ben Danielson (PDF)

Moderator: Douglas Opel, MD (PDF)

Presentations of Submitted Papers

Who’s Responsible for the Children? Physician Social Responsibility and Healthcare Reform: A National Survey
Erin O’Donnell (PDF)
View the presentation (PPTX)

Rationing Charity Care to Minor Noncitizens: Features and Limitations of a Fair Hospital Policy
Ryan Blum, MD (PDF)

Patient Navigator Program
Sarah Rafton, MSW (PDF)
View the presentation (PPT)

Barriers in Access to Care and Burdens on Families Living with Autism
Mariam Araujo, PhD (PDF)
View the presentation (PPTX)

Concluding Comments and Adjourn

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