Berman Institute Monthly Newsletter – February 2020


The Berman Institute Celebrates 25 Years of Putting Ethics into Action
Join us throughout 2020 to commemorate 25 years of achievement in bioethics and to see what lies ahead.
Read more about our anniversary celebration in The HUB.

Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH, Andreas C. Dracopolous Director of the Berman Institute, will serve on a new National Academy of Medicine committee. The Committee on Emerging Science, Technology, and Innovation in Health and Medicine (CESTI) will address the potential societal, ethical, legal, and workforce implications of such technologies, with the goal of developing a multi-sectoral governance framework.

In addition, Debra Mathews, the Institute’s Assistant Director for Science Programs, has been selected as an Academic Collaborator for CESTI.

Upcoming Events

February 6, 4:30 pm
The 38th David Barap Brin Lecture in Medical Ethics: “Disorders of Consciousness, Diagnostics and Disability Rights: How Neuroscience has Transformed the Clinical Transaction”
Joseph J. Fins, MD, MACP, FRCP
Location: Hurd Hall, Johns Hopkins Hospital.

February 17. 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Seminar: “Recovering Inside? Ethical and Policy Challenges in Correctional Behavior Health Care”
Dominic Sisti, PhD
Location: Feinstone Hall, Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lunch will be provided.

February 18, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Ethics for Lunch: “Decision Making with a Resource Constrained Healthcare System”
Moderator: Cathy Stanfield, MBA, MSN
Location: Zayed 2117, Johns Hopkins Hospital. Lunch will be provided.

February 24, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Seminar: “Identifying and Assessing Barriers to Equitable Postpartum Sterilization”
Kavita Shah Arora, MD, MBE
Location: Zayed 2117, Johns Hopkins Hospital. Lunch will be provided.


Parent preferences for neurodevelopmental screening in the neonatal intensive care unitDevelopmental Medicine & Child Neurology 
Authors: Rebecca A Dorner, Renee D Boss, Vera Joanna Burton, Katherine Raja, Monica E Lemmon

Real‐time ethics engagement in biomedical researchEMBO Reports
Authors: Jeremy Sugarman, Annelien L. Bredenoord

Reproductive Injustice at the US BorderAmerican Journal of Public Health
Authors: Ariella J. Messing, Rachel E. Fabi, Joanne D. Rosen

Surgeons’ Views on Shared Decision-Making, Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews
Authors: Suraj Kannan, Jayhyun Seo, Kevin Riggs, Gail Geller, Emily Boss, Zackary Berger

Impact of Physician Race on Patient Decision-Making and Ratings of Physicians: a Randomized Experiment Using Video Vignettes, Journal of General Internal Medicine
Authors: Somnath Saha, Mary Catherine Beach

Ethical considerations for cardiac surgical interventions in children with trisomy 13 and trisomy 18, American Journal of Medical Genetics
Authors: Kathryn Neubauer, Renee D. Boss

BI In the News

Hecht-Levi Fellow Katelyn Esmonde, PhD, wrote for Vox, “What celeb trainer Jillian Michaels got wrong about Lizzo and body positivity.”

Debra Mathews, PhD, MA, provided comments to The Lancet Digital Health in their article about genetics-focused mobile apps.

Cynda Rushton, PhD, RN, wrote for The Hastings Center Bioethics Forum, “To Restore Humanity in Health Care, Address Clinician Burnout.”

Dr. Rushton also provided comments to The Washington Post in an article about moral injury to doctors within the current business model of healthcare delivery.

Yoram Unguru, MD, MS, MA, commented in Haaretz’s article on Israeli doctors serving in the United States (article in Hebrew).

Tak Igusa, PhD, was featured on Academic Minute to discuss his research on the ethics of autonomous vehicles. Dr. Igusa received initial funding for this research from the Exploration of Practical Ethics Program.


February 26
Washington, DC
Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH, will serve as chair of a workshop on “An Examination of Emerging Bioethical Issues in Biomedical Research” at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

February 13
Frankfurt, Germany
Anne Barnhill, PhD, will present a paper “Manipulative online political influence” at a conference on Theory Amidst Crisis: Political Philosophy for Strained, Breaking, and Broken Institutions, at Goethe University 

February 4
Milan, Italy
Anne Barnhill, PhD, attended a workshop at the University of Milan on her book manuscript Eating Our Way Through Liberalism: Food Policy and Health Between Mill and Rawls, co-authored with Matteo Bonotti (Monash University). 

January 30
Baltimore, MD
Leslie Meltzer Henry, PhD, JD, and Debra Mathews, PhD, MA, served on a panel at the University of Maryland School of Medicine that addressed the ethics of gene editing technologies.

January 6
Bethesda, MD
MBE alum Hunter Smith, MD, and Anne Barnhill, PhD, gave a talk to the Bioethics Interest Group at the National Institutes of Health on “Addressing the social determinants of childhood obesity: ethical imperatives and trade-offs.”

December 6-11
Shanghai, China
Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH, was invited to speak at the Institute for Global Public Policy at Fudan University at a Workshop on International Governance of Emerging Technologies.

December 6
Tucson, AZ
Anne Barnhill, PhD, presented a paper, “SNAP exclusions: the role of citizen participation in decision-making,” at a conference sponsored by the journal Social Philosophy & Policy at the University of Arizona.  This paper is co-authored with post-doctoral fellow Brian Hutler, PhD.

November 18
Bethesda, MD
Travis Rieder, PhD, spoke at the National Institute on Drug Abuse on the importance of considering a patient’s environment when treating them for opioid use disorder