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Center Sponsored and Related Conferences


6th Annual Medical Ethics Symposium
The Ethical Duty to Provide Care in the Setting of Work Place Violence: What are the Limits?
See Event Flyer here
Register here
For questions, please contact Jean Mueller at or Phyllis Migdal at

June 5, 2023
Registration: 8:00am- 8:45am
Program: 9:00am- 4:00pm
Location: In person at the Stony Brook University Hospital MART Auditorium and via Webinar
Parking: Please note there is a fee for parking. For those coming from outside of Stony Brook Medicine, it is recommended to use the hospital valet parking for the event.


5th Annual Medical Ethics Symposium
COVID-19 Pandemic: Ethical Decision Making and Allocation of Scarce Resources
See Event Flyer here
Register here
For questions, please contact Phyllis Migdal at and Jean Mueller at

February 11, 2021
12:30pm- 2:00pm
Session 1: Mark Sands, MD/CMO, Carolyn Santora, CNO/CRA, Bettina Fries, MD
Nuts and Bolts: Ethical Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

March 11, 2021
12:30pm- 2:00pm
Session 2: Hector E. Alcala, PhD, MPH, CPH
Health Care Disparities in the COVID-19 Crisis

April 8, 2021
12:30pm- 2:00pm
Session 3: Adam Gonzalez, PhD, Megan Lochner, MD, Cynthia Cervoni, PhD
COVID-19: Fall out from Staff Burnout
Strategies to Promote Staff Resiliency

May 13, 2021
12:30pm- 2:00pm
Session 4: Stephen Post, PhD, Moderator
Redeployment: Deconstructing and Reframing the Employee Experience

June 10, 2021
12:30pm- 2:00pm
Session 5: Martin Griffel, MD, Carolyn Santora, MS, RN, CPHQ/CRA, Phyllis Migdal, MD
Putting it All Together
Panel Discussion: Ethical Decision Making


4th Annual Medical Ethics Symposium
Ethical Decision Making
Medical, Cultural, Religious and Ethical Conflicts Encompassing Brain Death when Patients, Families and Healthcare Providers Disagree



With an Artistic Vision: Further Inquiries into Perception, the Arts and Eye Disease
Vincent de Luise, MD
December 4, 2017
Are humans “hard-wired” to perceive beauty? Are there foundational neurological underpinnings to aesthetics? The field of neuroaesthetics is blossoming, and this talk will explore some fascinating sidebars at the intersection of vision, perception and the arts.
Read more about it here.

Rediscovering Performance in Healing: What can we learn from Shamans and Medicine Men?
Atay Citron, PhD
November 8, 2017

While the achievements of modern medical science are many, healing also involves confidence and trust in healers. The field of medical anthropology is replete with study of shamans and medicine men who engage in healing practices in indigenous cultures.
Read more about it here.

Human First! A Workshop Inspired by Medical Clowning
Michael Christensen
October 26, 2017

Medical clowning is a therapeutic method aimed at helping children and adult patients through interactive humor, folly, and playful behavior. The skills of successful hospital clowns include the ability to rapidly read audiences and assess environments, to respond to subtle physical and emotional cues, to create genuine contact, to give patients, parents and staff the feeling that they are there specifically for them, to pay attention, in short, to be totally present.
Read more about it here.

Medical Clowning: An Introduction
Atay Citron, PhD
October 26, 2017

Medical clowning is a therapeutic method aimed at helping children and adult patients through interactive humor, folly, and playful behavior. Since its inception as a profession in New York in 1986, medical clowning has become an intrinsic part of medical treatment in children’s hospitals and pediatric wards in the U.S. (including 12 East Coast hospitals, among them Yale- New Haven, Johns Hopkins, and Memorial Sloan Kettering), in the majority of hospitals in Europe, Australia and Israel, and is spreading throughout the world.
Read more about it here.


15th annual Alzheimer’s Conference for Caregivers
November 8th 2013
Registration required
Read more about it here and here.


Should We Be Able To Sell Our Organs?
April 16th
Today, for the first time in modern history, we are seeing a precipitous decline in the amount of organs that are available to be donated. This past year at Stony Brook Organ Donation was down 11 percent from the previous year, itself a year that saw fewer organ donations than the year before. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that we are nearing a crisis. What are some of the factors that account for the shortfall? What can, and just as importantly, what should be done to address this crisis? In various countries around the world the sale of organs is permitted. Donors receive money for their gifts, and there is evidence to suggest that this practice has an impact on reducing the shortage of available organs. Yet, one can imagine costs associated with such a practice.
Read more about it here.


The Neuroscience of Compassion
September 16th
Several independent lines of scientific inquiry that suggest humans are compassionate by nature, and that those who are compassionate have better heath and live longer compared to those who do not help others. Some efforts to understand the health effects of compassion have turned to neurobiology for answers, as way to study and understand how compassionate behavior involves bodily processes that influence morbidity and mortality. Our presenters consist of faculty and students who began their efforts to study the neuroscience of compassion at the University of Michigan, and who will discuss some of the key methodological and substantive issues surrounding this emerging new field, with an eye toward understanding the relevance to health and medical education.
Read more about it here.

Thinking about Consent and Procurement in Organ Donation: Some Lingering Issues in the Areas of Ethics, The Law, and Public Perception
April 11th
An ever increasing gap between the need for and availability of donor organs has led to a number of competing views over how to address organ shortages. Of these, our speakers will address questions of presumed consent, how to address differences between donor intent and family wishes, and the question of donation by cardiac death.
Read more about it here.


Deadly Medicine Exhibition and Lecture Series
April 6-June 12
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s traveling exhibition, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, examines how the Nazi leadership, in collaboration with individuals in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good, used science to help legitimize persecution, murder and, ultimately, genocide. The exhibition contains historical photographs, artifacts and survivor testimony from the Holocaust, including explicit images of medical experimentation on children. A series of lectures were presented in conjunction with this exhibition.
Read more about it here.


Cognitive Disability: A Challenge to Moral Philosophy
September 18-20
The realities of cognitive disability pose a significant challenge to certain key conceptions philosophers have held. Philosophers have conceived of the mark of humanity as the possession of rational cognitive capacities. They have traditionally extended the mantles of equality, dignity, justice, responsibility, and moral fellowship to those with these abilities, whom they speak of as "persons." What then should we say about those with severe cognitive disabilities? How should we treat these individuals and what sorts of entitlements can they claim? Should we grant the arguments of some philosophers who want to parse our moral universe in ways that depend on degrees of cognitive capacity, not on being human? How do claims for the moral consideration of animals bear on the question? Is it morally acceptable to consign some human beings to the status of "non-persons?" Philosophers have rarely faced these questions squarely and systematically.
Read more about it here.