ANN ARBOR, Mich
- In 2006, 47 million Americans were without health insurance coverage - an increase from 44.8 million in 2005.
The serious financial and ethical issues posed by this situation - when contrasted with a health care system that is supposed to be a model for the rest of the world - have helped make health care one of the most important topics in the 2008 presidential campaign.
On Wednesday, Oct. 29, noted bioethics expert Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., will speak at the University of Michigan Health System on how America's broken health care system is holding back real progress in the field of medicine and quality patient care, and what we need to do to fix it.
Emanuel, who chairs the Department of Clinical Bioethics
at the National Institutes of Health and is the author of three books on health care reform and medical ethics, will discuss the presidential candidates' health care plans just days before the November 4th
election. The title of his talk is "Beyond Band-Aids: How to Cure America's Sick Healthcare System."
The Waggoner lectureship is named for the late Raymond Waggoner, M.D., who died in June, 2000 at the age of 98. He was chair of the U-M Department of Psychiatry for 33 years, from 1937 to 1970, and a wise, dedicated leader of American Psychiatric Association APA (President, 1969-1970; Distinguished Service Award, 1988). Waggoner was a noted U-M psychiatrist, medical administrator and government advisor who was one of the first to see brain illnesses as both an emotional and physical problem.
Since 1995, the U-M has held the annual Waggoner lecture in honor of his strong interest and commitment to ethics and values, which he saw as combining the human and the humane. Throughout his career, Waggoner worked to modernize treatment of individuals suffering from psychiatric illnesses, and to bridge the gap between the Freudian psychosocial model and the discipline of neuroscience, which aims to find biological explanations for brain disorders.
Under Waggoner's direction, the U-M Psychiatry grew from a small clinical and teaching unit in the 1930s to a major force in psychiatry research, care and education. He built a faculty noted for its eclectic mix of disciplines, and for its emphasis on integrating medical and psychiatric care in order to best care for the entire patient. He retired in 1970, but continued an active practice until the 1990s.
Emanuel is an internationally known bioethicist and a breast oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He has authored three books and co-edited four. In addition, he developed The Medical Directive, a comprehensive living will that has been endorsed by Consumer Reports on Health, Harvard Health Letter, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.
He has published widely on the ethics of clinical research, health care reform, international research ethics, end of life care issues, euthanasia, the ethics of managed care, and the physician-patient relationship in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, JAMA, and many other medical journals.
Emanuel has received numerous awards, and has previously served on President Clinton's Health Care Task Force, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, and on the bioethics panel of the Pan-American Healthcare Organization. Emanuel has been a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Brin Professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School.
Written by Kady Davenport