Events Calendar


Current Issues in Bioethics Lecture Series

The Center for Practical Bioethics and Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences are co-presenting this lecture series for medical students and open to the public. Center staff members lead and teach in KCU’s MA program in bioethics, as well as educational offerings for medical students.

All presentations will be held in KCU’s Academic Center, Room 200. They will also be live-streamed on the web. Check back here for links.

Thursday, August 13, 2015
11:00 am

“Is Medical Marijuana a Medicine?”
Presented By: David Casarett, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Director of Hospice and Palliative Care, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Friday, September 25, 2015
11:00 am

“The Moral Obligation to Treat Pain”
Presented By: Richard Payne, MD
John B. Francis Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics, Kansas City, MO, and Esther Colliflower Professor of Medicine and Divinity at Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
1:00 pm

“When Stakes are High and Emotions Run Strong:
Dilemma’s in Ethics at the End of Life”
Presented By: Andrea J. Chatburn, DO, MA
KCU Grad and Palliative Care Physician at Providence Center for Health & Well-Being, Spokane, WA

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
11:00 am

A Physician’s Personal Experiences as a Head and Neck Cancer Patient”
Presented By: Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc
Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown’s University’s School of Medicine, Washington, DC


Frank White 5K Walk/Run and Arts Festival

An Event to Raise Awareness about Sickle Cell Disease, Pain and Pain Management

Saturday, September 19, 2015
Spring Valley Park | 2800 Spring Valley Park, Road | Kansas City, MO

Registration 8:30 am
Registration Fee $20
Race Start 9:00 am
Art in the Park 9:00 - 10:45 am
Exhibition Baseball 11:00 am

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that involves the red blood cells. These cells become sickle-shaped, fragile and break down more rapidly than they can be replaced. The most common and disturbing feature of the disease is pain attacks, which result from the plugging of blood vessels. These may occur at any time in any part of the body and are of varying duration and severity. An estimated 100,000 people live with Sickle Cell in the United States.

After the Walk/Run, participants are invited to cool down at the Arts Festival showcasing talent of local artists young and old presented by the Gem Cultural and Educational Center, and then to cross over to the Frank White, Jr. Field #1 to watch the KC Monarchs Senior Softball organization pay tribute to the rich history of baseball in a five-inning exhibition game.

Registration fees, donations and pledges from the Walk/Run will benefit the Uriel Owens Chapter of the Sickle Cell Disease Association. Relieving Pain in Kansas City (RPnKC), a sponsor of the event, is the local effort of the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS), a program of the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo. PAINS’ mission is to transform the way pain is perceived, judged and treated. RPnKC is a dedicated group of citizen leaders who live with pain and/or care for someone living with pain. They work to (1) increase awareness and educate Kansas Citians about chronic pain, (2) increase access locally to integrative pain management, (3) participate in efforts to improve treatment models, and (4) create infrastructure to support the psychosocial needs of those living with chronic pain and their families.




The Painful Truth: A Public Forum
What Chronic Pain is Really Like and Why It Matters to Each of Us

Monday, September 21, 2015
6:30 – 8:00 pm

Community Christian Church
4601 Main Street
Kansas City, MO

Registration: $10.00
* Includes complimentary copy of The Painful Truth (Retail $29.25)

Years ago, Carolyn and her daughter went to a mall and were both shot in a random act of violence. Today, Carolyn grieves not only for her daughter – who was killed – but for the person she was before chronic pain took over her life.

Lynn R. Webster, MD, past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, was Carolyn’s pain specialist. In his new book, The Painful Truth, Dr. Webster tells Carolyn’s and 9 other patients’ stories in riveting detail. These survivor stories range from botched surgeries, accidents and diseases to the NFL. Dr. Webster also describes why he believes the legal and regulatory system now “plays doctor” and, as a consequence, many pain patients choose suicide as their only way out.

Publication of Dr. Webster’s book in September 2015 coincides with National Pain Awareness Month. A PBS television documentary, also titled The Painful Truth, will air later this fall.

Join us on September 21 to learn more about Dr. Webster’s experiences and Center programs that address chronic pain, including the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS) and the Relieving Pain in Kansas City initiative.

Sponsors for this public forum include the Center for Practical Bioethics and the American Academy of Pain Management, with generous support from the Saint Luke’s Hospital Foundation and Spencer Fane.




Relieving Pain in Kansas City:
A Chronic Pain Multistakeholder Collaborative

Wednesday, September 30
9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Fairway Auditorium
KU Clinical Research Center
4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Fairway, KS 66205

* There is free parking in front of the building.

We are recruiting 50 individuals who live with pain and/or who care for someone who does to join us on Wednesday, September 30, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm for an interactive meeting.  We will engage in intentional conversations to help us set research priorities that will advance patient-centered research on chronic pain.
The Center has funding from PCORI to support this time together.
We encourage you to invite others who also are familiar with chronic pain - those who live with pain and those who care for and about the ones who live with pain - and share this information with them.
To participate and for further instructions and information regarding the meeting, please submit the following information.  There will be NO onsite registration.  We regret that not everyone who is interested may be able to be accommodated, so we thank you for your interest.  We will post the results of the meeting on the Center's website so that you can stay informed about this important work.




Death Makes Life Possible
A Film by Marilyn Schlitz and Deepak Chopra

Community Film Viewing
Thursday, October 15
6:00 – 8:30 pm
City Stage at Union Station
30 West Pershing Road | Kansas City, MO
Film followed by reception and book signing
Ticket $10

Friday, October 16
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Arthur Stilwell Room at Union Station
30 West Pershing Road | Kansas City, MO
Registration $40

For over 30 years, the Center for Practical Bioethics has encouraged individuals to have direct and frank conversations about their wishes for healthcare as they near the end of life. Yet, people are hesitant because it is difficult to think about the taboo subject of death. The Community Viewing of the film Death Makes Life Possible and the Symposium the next day create opportunities to remember that facing our fear of death can be an inspiration for living and dying well.    

On Thursday evening, Marilyn Schlitz, PhD – award-winning author, social anthropologist and leader in the field of consciousness studies – will introduce the film and facilitate dialogue after the viewing.

Friday will begin with a viewing of the film, with teachings and practical guidance presented throughout the day by Dr. Schlitz on how to turn this taboo topic into a source of peace, hope, connection and compassion. Dr. Ann Allegre, Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, will close the symposium with a lesson on the importance of mindfulness, presence and loving kindness in our personal and professional worlds.



Advancing the Common Good in Public-Private Relationships for Biomedical Innovation

March 10-11, 2016
Kauffman Conference Center
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO

The Center for Practical Bioethics and Duke University’s Science and Society Institute will convene an inaugural, invitation only meeting to explore new practices that promote scientific progress through public-private partnerships while upholding the integrity and independence of the scientific process.

The keynote speaker at the opening dinner, Lisa Rosenbaum, MD, national correspondent for the New England Journal of Medicine, will discuss her provocative series in the journal on conflict of interest (see links below).

The agenda will address three key questions about conflicts of interest in public-private partnerships:

• What are the salient interests that need to be managed and what are the responsibilities of the actors to disclose and manage their secondary interests?

• What strategies have been deployed in recent case examples to manage conflicts of interest? How effective have they been? How can they be improved? What new strategies need to be developed?

• What research, participating constituencies, meeting forums and recommendations should be proposed for funding to support multi-year activities to broaden conflict of interest options and their effectiveness?

The goal of the meeting is to produce a proposal to fund a multi-year project to study and test successful conflict of interest mitigation strategies for public-private partnerships.

Participants, by invitation, will include leaders from academic medicine and clinical research, entrepreneurs, government agencies, ethics and health policy, watchdog and advocacy groups, major foundations, venture capital and manufacturing.

For more information about the issue and the conference, please contact Leslie McNolty, Program Associate, at 816-979-1394 or

Suggested Reading

Reconnecting the Dots – Reinterpreting Industry-Physician Relations, by Lisa Rosenbaum, MD

Beyond Moral Outrage – Weighing the Trade-Offs of COI Regulation, by Lisa Rosenbaum, MD

Understanding Bias – The Case for Careful Study, by Lisa Rosenbaum, MD

Revisiting the Commercial-Academic Interface, by Jeffrey M. Drazen, MD

NEJM Reader Poll on Conflicts of Interest