Religion, Medicine, and Law: Can Current Conflicts Be Healed? image

Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School, November 3, 2016, 4:30 - 6pm


Learn More and Register!

2016 George W. Gay Lecture

Religion, Medicine, and Law: Can Current Conflicts Be Healed?

Martha Minow

Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and

Professor of Law at Harvard Law School


Thursday, November 3, 2016, 4:30 – 6pm

TMEC Walter Amphitheater

260 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115


Calls for accommodating religious views have generated recent high profile litigation brought by nonprofit and business groups and by health care professionals; competing claims stress the rights and interests of patients in access to contraception, abortion, and end-of-life decision-making.  How do and how should hospitals, insurers, health care practices, and governments address these competing claims?  One place to start acknowledges the presence of religious, ethical, and legal arguments on each side of the debates; another examines the contribution law itself makes to the controversies through the dynamics of litigation and framing the issues in either-or-terms.  The potential role of collaborative problem-solving through bioethical analyses, negotiation, settlement, and legislation deserves examination along with recognition of the intellectual and financial resources as new potential clashes arise.

Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, has taught at Harvard Law School since 1981, where her courses have included civil procedure, constitutional law, family law, international criminal justice, jurisprudence, law and education, nonprofit organizations, and the public law workshop. An expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities and for women, children, and persons with disabilities, she also writes and teaches about privatization, military justice, and ethnic and religious conflict. She has published over 150 articles and her books include The First Global Prosecutor: Promise and Constraints (2015) co-edited with Cora True-Frost and Alex Whiting; In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Educational Landmark (2010); Partners, Not Rivals, Privatization and the Public Good (2002); and Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence (1998); she is co-editor of law school casebooks on civil procedure, and on gender and the law. Following nomination by President Obama and confirmation by the Senate, she serves as vice-chair of the board of the Legal Services Corporation. She presently serves on the board of the MacArthur Foundation and other nonprofit organizations. She has delivered more than 75 named or endowed lectures and keynote addresses

The George W. Gay Lecture is the oldest endowed lectureship at Harvard Medical School, and quite possibly the oldest medical ethics lectureship in the United States. The lectureship was established in 1917 by a $1,000 gift from Dr. George Washington Gay, an 1868 graduate of HMS. Since its inception, many of the nation's most influential physicians, scientists, researchers and social observers, including Erich Fromm, Felix Frankfurter, Margaret Mead, Elizabeth Kübler Ross, E.O. Wilson, and Joshua Lederberg have given the Gay Lecture. Elie Wiesel, Marian Wright Edelman, Paul Krugman, Nicholas Kristof and Donald Berwick have given recent Gay Lectures.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Learn more and register at the Center for Bioethics' website!

abortion bioethics conscience contraception doctor-patient relationship end-of-life health law policy insurance judicial opinions medicine religion