“Step away from the doughnut! Put down the super-sized soda!” Governmental efforts to ban unhealthy foods can sound like law enforcement at work. Critics invoke fears of a “nanny state” where government officials intrude excessively into our private lives, while the current obesity epidemic and a history of previous successful public health interventions are persuasive reasons for some people to support more governmental action. Add into this mix the impact of the Affordable Care Act and you have the ingredients for this year’s Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s 8th annual Ethics Conference.
The conference, “Health Care Reform: Nanny State or Responsible Stewardship?” will be held on Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Hallowell Conference Center at Peninsula Regional Medical Center from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. The cost to attend the conference is $50.00 for physicians, healthcare professions and the general public, $40.00 for PRMC and Salisbury University employees and $20.00 for full-time students and chaplains/clergy. A dinner will be provided. For information or to register, please call PRMC’s Debora Musser in the Pastoral Care office, 410-543-7157, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or click here to register online.
The conference will be of interest to professionals, patients, and anyone interested in how the new health care law affects the balance between individual liberty and the public good. It poses the urgent questions: How can health care professionals be good stewards while respecting individual autonomy? How can health care professionals and policy makers of differing political positions work together?
The main speaker for this year’s conference is Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH, a nationally known author and bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Kahn is the Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy and the Deputy Director for Policy and Administration at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. His works explore the intersection of ethics and health/science policy, including public health. He has published three books and over 100 articles in the bioethics and medical literature. He speaks frequently across the U.S. and around the world on a range of bioethics topics. He previously wrote the bi-weekly column Ethics Matters on CNN.com.
The second speaker is Terence Kane, a policy analyst who works at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He led the development of the $242 million Early Innovator grant to States to support Exchange IT development. He previously worked as a senior policy analyst for Generations United, a national non-profit that advocates for seniors and children. He was also a weekly contributor for The Hill’s Pundits blog. He is a native of Salisbury.
Lori Brewster, , MS, APRN/BC, LCADC, Wicomico County Health Officer, will also be part of the conversation.