New Hastings Center special report on anti-Black racism in bioethics

The Hastings Center has published a special report on “A Critical Moment in Bioethics: Reckoning with Anti‐Black Racism through Intergenerational Dialogue.” As stated in a news release announcing the report, it “calls on the field of bioethics to take the lead in efforts to remedy racial injustice and health inequities in the United States.”

The special report includes contributions from faculty in the Center for Bioethics and Social Justice. The essay “Colonial Geographies, Black Geographies, and Bioethics” comes from Jennifer McCurdy, PhD, assistant professor. Additionally, “On the Shoulders of Giants: A Reckoning with Social Justice” was co-authored by Libby Bogdan-Lovis, specialist emerita, Karen Kelly-Blake, PhD, associate director of academic programming, and Wendy Jiang, MPH (MD candidate at University of Alabama at Birmingham).

The editors of this special report are Faith E. Fletcher, PhD, MA; Keisha S. Ray, PhD; Virginia A. Brown, PhD, MA; and Patrick T. Smith, PhD, MDiv, MA. Fletcher, Senior Advisor at The Hastings Center and recent 40 Under 40 Leaders in Health Award Winner, is an alumna of the Center for Bioethics and Social Justice’s former MA program in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society.

The full report can be accessed for free via Wiley Online Library.

What do LGBTQ patients want from their healthcare providers?

Bioethics Public Seminar Series purple and teal icon

The 2020-2021 Bioethics Public Seminar Series continues later this month with a panel of MSU alumni. You are invited to join us virtually – events will not take place in person. Our seminars are free to attend and open to all individuals.

Controversies and Complexities in LGBTQ Health Care

Event Flyer
Zoom registration:

Do you feel prepared to provide excellent care to your LGBTQ patients? Calls for social justice and corrective actions are being mounted by various and intersectional constituencies. These calls for social change must be reflected in improved clinical care, as well. What do LGBTQ patients want from their healthcare providers? Health professionals often think that they do not serve LGBTQ+ people, but Williams Institute data reports about 3-10% of the U.S. population of adults, depending on state, identify as a sexual and gender minority person. What are some of the ethical and clinical challenges that clinicians and patients face? This seminar will address these broadly understood health issues that impact the LGBTQ community, as we aim toward an inclusive and equitable health delivery system. Bring your questions and take part in this exciting and timely conversation with a panel of MSU alumni.

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Join us for this online lecture on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 from noon until 1 pm ET.

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Dr. Emily Antoon-Walsh

Emily Antoon-Walsh, MD, MA, FAAP (she/her), is a board-certified pediatrician who specializes in the care of hospitalized infants, children and adolescents. She graduated from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 2013 with an MD and an MA from the Bioethics, Humanities and Society program. She completed her pediatric residency at Seattle Children’s Hospital/University of Washington. As a medical student she worked to improve medical education around LGBTQ issues. As a resident she interviewed trans youth and their parents about barriers to gender-affirming care. She now practices hospital pediatric medicine, which presents special challenges and also privileges in providing LGBTQ-affirming care for families. She works in a community hospital in Olympia, WA, where she lives with her wife and child who is a true Pacific Northwest baby and loves the outdoors on the rainiest, cloudiest of days.

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Dr. Barry DeCoster

Barry DeCoster, PhD (he/him), is an Associate Professor of Bioethics and Philosophy at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. His research interests focus on the overlapping areas of bioethics and philosophy of science & medicine. DeCoster is interested in how vulnerable patients—such as LGBTQ health, racial minority health, and women’s health—engage and respond to the particular needs of their communities. He is also interested in the lingering impact of the medicalization of LGBTQ health and how queer patients are themselves constructed as both ethical and epistemic agents. Dr. DeCoster received his B.S. in Biotechnology & Humanities from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Michigan State University. He spent much time working at MSU’s Center for Ethics as a grad student, and remembers that time fondly as a source of mentorship. Dr. DeCoster enjoyed the opportunity to teach fantastic students for three years at MSU’s Lyman Briggs College.

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Dr. Henry Ng

Henry Ng, MD, MPH, FAAP, FACP (he/they), is a physician, educator and advocate for LGBTQ health. Dr. Ng has been involved in LGBTQ health care since 2007 and he is currently a physician in the Center for LGBTQ+ Health and the Transgender Surgery and Medicine Program at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He completed his BS and his MD at Michigan State University. He completed his residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at MetroHealth Medical Center. In 2012, he completed a Master’s in Public Health degree at Case Western Reserve University with an emphasis on Health Promotion/Disease Prevention for LGBT populations. He served as an associate editor for the journal LGBT Health and is a senior associate editor for the journal Annals of LGBTQ Public and Population Health.

Can’t make it? All webinars are recorded! Visit our archive of recorded lecturesTo receive reminders before each webinar, please subscribe to our mailing list.

Bioethics after undergrad: hear from two recent BHS Program graduates

BHS-sheild-logoThe Center recently connected with two alumni of the Bioethics, Humanities, and Society (BHS) Undergraduate Program following an annual alumni feedback survey. We asked both students to tell us about their current work or study and how it may relate to bioethics.

Anna Miller
I will be starting an internship in the fall with Cru, a world-wide Christian ministry. Though I will not directly be using bioethics in my job, I will certainly be using the bioethical principles of pursuing justice, examining moral values, and promoting human dignity and the sanctity of life.

Desirae Yeomans
Currently I work with Progressive Auto Insurance managing a spinal cord injury case. Not only am I still interested in bioethics as I further my studies and career goals within healthcare, but the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) comes up in my work daily. One aspect of this law is protecting the individuals identifiable health information by setting national standards for the security of electronic protected health information.

To find out more about the BHS Undergraduate Minor at MSU, visit

BHS Specialization alumni continue bioethics-related work after graduation

BHS_shieldThe Center recently connected with two alumni of the Bioethics, Humanities, and Society Undergraduate Specialization following an alumni feedback survey. We asked both students to tell us about their current work or study and how it may relate to bioethics.

Continue reading to hear about Donald Zeolla and Fiza Irfan’s future plans.

BHS MA alum Dr. Faith Fletcher Receives Kaiser Permanente Burch Minority Leadership Development Award

faith-fletcher-2013Read more via ASPPH: “UIC Faculty Receives Kaiser Permanente Burch Minority Leadership Development Award”

Dr. Faith Fletcher is a 2006 graduate of the Michigan State University Bioethics, Humanities, and Society MA program. Dr. Fletcher is an assistant professor in the division of community health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

Feature in ‘MSU Today’ on work of BHS MA grad Melissa Elafros

Read about Melissa’s work in Zambia: “Student view: Melissa Elafros: At home in Zambia”

Melissa is a 2008 graduate of the Bioethics, Humanities, and Society MA program at MSU. Visit for information on the BHS Undergraduate Specialization.

Final student graduates from MA program in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society

sarah-marzecThe Master of Arts program in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society graduated its final student, Sarah Marzec, this spring. We wish to congratulate her on her accomplishments and wish her well in her future work!

Sarah’s final paper for the MA program discussed patenting gene sequences, an issue which is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court in the  Myriad Genetics’ case. In her paper, Sarah argued that genes should not be patented because they are unique and unlike other forms of property. That is, original patent law is based in Lockean Philosophy and claiming property by patenting is acceptable provided that ‘enough and as good’ is left for others. Genes are unique because there is only one gene sequence in nature. When one person claims a gene as their own property and refuses to let others use it, it does not leave ‘enough and as good for others’ and therefore violates Lockean philosophy and the original intent of patent laws. Currently, Sarah is undergoing residency training to be a pediatrician at Hope Children’s Hospital.

CHM Alumni Weekend brings Dr. Denise Rodgers for Andrew D. Hunt Annual Endowed Lectureship

This annual lecture honors the legacy of Andrew Hunt, founding dean of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, who was instrumental in establishing the Office of Medical Education, Research and Development (OMERAD) and the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences. The 2012 keynote speaker is Denise Rodgers, MD (CHM ’79).

Dr. Rodgers is the Provost and Executive Vice President for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). She is also a Professor of Family Medicine at the UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Rodgers has overall responsibility for the educational, research and clinical activities occurring in all eight of the schools of UMDNJ. She has a strong interest in inter-professional education and healthcare as a mechanism to improve patient outcomes.

The lecture will take place: October 12, 2012 from 2:30-3:30 pm
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, East Lansing
Big Ten Conference Room A
Video Broadcast to Secchia Center, Rooms 120 & 130, Grand Rapids

To learn more or register, contact Marci Muller at 616-234-2611 or

Event flyer: MSU Alumni Weekend Hunt Lecture Card 7_12_12

Former BHS Adviser, Karen Meagher to join Presidental Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

Karen Meagher has served as the undergraduate academic adviser for the Specialization in Bioethics, Humanities and Society since Fall 2008. She is a doctoral candidate in MSU’s Department of Philosophy, and will be defending her dissertation, A Virtue Approach to Public Heath Ethics, in early September.

Shortly thereafter, Karen will be joining the staff of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues as a Philosopher Research Analyst. Her responsibilities will include research, writing, meeting preparation, and other projects in order to identify and promote policies and practices that ensure scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in a socially and ethically responsible manner.

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues advises the President on bioethical issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology. Current topics under consideration by the Commission include use and governance of human genome sequence data, the ethics of the development of medical countermeasures in children, and neuroscience and the self.

Emily Antoon accepts Rita Gallin Award

The Center for Gender in Global Context has awarded the 2010 Best Graduate Paper on Women and Gender in Global Perspective to Emily Antoon, a 2010 Bioethics, Humanities, and Society alumna, for her paper “Ya Sartoun Ya Mout: An Alternative Approach to the Mammography Screening Controversy in Israel.” This award is named in honor of Rita S. Gallin, the former director of the Women and International Development Program.