Events Calendar

Annual Dinner and Joan Berkley Bioethics Symposium

  • 2015 Annual Dinner

    The Politics of Pain
    April 30, 2015

    Annual Dinner
    5:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    Marriott Muehlebach Hotel

    Each spring, the Center’s Annual Dinner and Berkley Symposium bring leading minds on important and often controversial issues in bioethics to our home base in Kansas City. The issue of pain, its history and treatment certainly falls into that category.

  • Guest Speaker: “The Politics of Pain”


    Keith Wailoo

    The Politics of Pain
    April 30, 2015

    Annual Dinner
    5:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    Marriott Muehlebach Hotel

    Keith Wailoo, vice dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University and Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs, will present the Robert L. Biblo Lecture based on his recent book, Pain: A Political History.

    The lecture, like the book, will reveal how the question of other people’s pain became a recurring site for political theater over the last 60 years, and how it has been used as a weapon, ultimately raising the ethical question: Who should have the power to judge suffering?

    “One enduring aspect of this political theatre,” writes Dr. Wailoo, “is how much people in pain have had to fight to be heard amid the battles waged over them and on their behalf.”

    In this interview, Dr. Wailoo explains why the politics and history of pain are so controversial.


  • Vision to Action Awards

    The Center will present the 2015 Vision to Action Awards to three individuals who have had tremendous impact on the way pain is perceived, judged and treated in America.

    Kathleen Foley
    Kathleen M. Foley, MD
    , is a pioneering neurologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and former chief of its Pain and Palliative Care Service. Her research has helped make pain management a routine part of cancer care and led to standards of pain and palliative care worldwide.

    Philip PizzoPhilip Pizzo, MD, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University and former dean of its School of Medicine, chaired the Institute of Medicine committee that published the landmark 2011 report, Relieving Pain in America.

    Noreen ClarkNoreen M. Clark, PhD, who died in November 2013 and will receive the award posthumously, co-chaired the Institute of Medicine committee and was professor of health behavior/health education and pediatrics/communicable diseases and director of the Center for Managing Chronic Disease at the University of Michigan.

  • 2015 Joan Berkley Bioethics Symposium

    May 1, 2015
    The Politics of Pain

    8:30 am – 3:30 pm
    Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences


    Chronic pain.
    More than 100 million Americans live with it.
    It’s the number one reason for doctor visits.
    It’s a weapon in political battles between liberals and conservatives.
    It costs a staggering $560 to $635 billion annually.

    In its landmark 2011 report, “Relieving Pain in America,” the Institute of Medicine called for a “cultural transformation in the way pain is perceived, judged and treated.” The under-treatment of pain has been a focus of the Center’s work since its founding in 1984. Over the years, the Center has worked with statewide coalitions, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, policy makers and those living with chronic pain to promote balanced pain policy and safe and effective treatment. Because of this history and experience – and because the IOM has no implementation authority – the Center stepped forward to lead efforts to advance the report’s recommendations.

    At this Symposium, national experts on pain policy and treatment will address major trends and issues in the treatment of chronic pain, including the use of opioids, and what chronic pain advocates and other can do to further efforts to reform chronic pain care in America.

  • Agenda at a Glance

    Myra Christopher
    Marc Hahn, DO, President, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

    Chronic Pain: An Overview
    Myra Christopher, Center for Practical Bioethics

    The Politics of Pain
    Keith Wailoo, PhD, Princeton University

    The Need for Fact-Based State and National Pain Policy
    Bob Twillman, PhD, American Academy of Pain Management
    Katie Horton, RN, MPH, JD, George Washington University

    Changing the Way Pain Is Perceived, Judged and Treated: An Educator and Policy Leader’s Perspective
    Philip Pizzo, MD, Stanford University


    People Living with Chronic Pain
    Impact of Pain Politics on Underserved Populations
    Richard Payne, MD, Center for Practical Bioethics
    Melissa Robinson, Black Health Care Coalition

    Impact of Politics on Clinical Care
    Kathleen M. Foley, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

    Wrap Up
    John Carney, MEd, Center for Practical Bioethics
    Bruce Dubin, DO, JD, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

  • Joan BerkleyJoan Berkley
    1928 - 2012

    The Joan Berkley Bioethics Symposium, now in its eighth year, recognizes the devotion of a beloved board member of the Center and honors her insatiable intellectual curiosity and interest in bioethics. Joan’s children made a gift in her honor shortly before her death.



21st Annual Rosemary Flanigan Lecture

David Casarett

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
St. Joseph Medical Center, Alex George Auditorium, Building D
David Casarett, MD, our guest speaker at the 2015 Flanigan Lecture, is the author of Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead. In it, he chronicles this history of resuscitation and reveals just how far science has come, with examples ranging from bizarre to riveting.
“The unexplored questions underlying every chapter of Shocked,” said Susan Okie in her Washington Post review, “show how eager we are to grasp at any treatment, however marginal that promises to prolong life, and why so many people have such difficulty confronting the reality of death or talking about their wishes with their families.”
Details about the lecture and related programs will be available soon.