2015 Ethics Conference: Medicine, Morality and the Mind

cabrera-crop-2015On September 17, Center Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Cabrera participated as a panelist at the 2015 Ethics Conference: Medicine, Morality and the Mind, held at Prince Conference Center at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. This one-day symposium, organized by Spectrum Health, addressed ethical complexities in health care and ways to support ethical care in a variety of settings. Around 250 people were in attendance, including nurses, social workers and music therapists.

Dr. Cabrera participated in a roundtable discussion entitled “The Three C’s of Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures: Competence, Capacity, and Consciousness.” The discussion was led by Dr. Brien Smith, Neurology Department Chief at Spectrum Health. The presented clinical case incited questions on capacity and whether it is ethical to deceive patients.

Other presentations included: “Wrestling with the Ethics of Treating Emotional and Behavioral Disturbances” from Erik Parens, PhD, a Senior Research Scholar at The Hastings Center, “The Medical Practice Impact of Functional Neuroimaging Studies in Patients with Disorders of Consciousness” from Dr. James Bernat, Louis and Ruth Fran Professor of Neuroscience at Dartmouth Medical College, and “Music Therapy and the Mind: Awareness, Recovery and Neurodevelopment in Adult Brain Injury and NICU Pediatric Populations” led by Erin Wegener and Bridget Sova, both Music Therapists at Spectrum Health.

“It was really interesting to learn more about music therapy,” said Dr. Cabrera, “And of course to sing along with the presenters who gave a terrific presentation with several videos highlighting the type of interventions offered as part of music therapy.”

Dr. Cabrera is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences and the Department of Translational Science & Molecular Medicine. Visit our website to learn more about her work.