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The Catalyst

Pitts lecture to focus on ethical pediatric issues

Staff Report

This year’s annual Thomas A. Pitts Memorial Lectureship in Medical Ethics, titled “Ethical and Legal Issues in Pediatrics,” will be held Oct. 18 and 19. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 18. All sessions will be held in Room 125, MUSC Thurmond Gazes Research Building, 114 Doughty St.

Now in its 20th year, the lectureship has explored a range of bioethical issues including clinical-bioethical, legal-bioethical, social-bioethical and policy-bioethical. According to Robert Sade, M.D., Department of Surgery, this annual conference on ethics has been extraordinarily successful for the last 20 years.

“The topic this year, Ethical and Legal Issues in Pediatrics, is proving to be extremely popular. Advanced registration is highly advisable as we are already far ahead of previous years’ registrations. The speakers are the leaders in the field from all over the country,” he said.

The leaders, along with each topic addressed, include:

Session I: Newborn Screening

Screening of Newborns for Disorders with High Benefit-Risk Ratios Should be Mandatory — Melissa Wasserstein, M.D., Mount Sinani School of Medicine, New York; Parents Should Be Asked for Consent to Newborn Screening, Even for Disorders with High Benefit–Risk Ratios — Norman Frost, M.D., University of Wisconsin.

Session II: Vaccination Refusal

Refusing the Refusers: When Parents Refuse  Vaccination for Their Children — Stan Block, M.D., Kentucky Pediatric and Adult Research Inc.; Pediatricians Should Accept Care of Children Whose Parents Refuse Vaccination  — Douglas Diekema, M.D., University of Washington, Seattle, Wa.

Session III: Infant Male Circumcision
Newborn Male Circumcision with Parental Consent, as Stated in the AAP Circumcision Policy Statement, is Both Legal and Ethical — Michael Brady, M.D., Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio; Newborn Male Circumcision is Unethical and Should be Illegal  — J. Steven Svodoba, J.D., Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, Berkeley, Ca.

Session IV: Surgery for Trisomy 18 Infants
Open Heart Repair Should Be Offered to Infants with Trisomy 18 and VSD and Interrupted Aortic Arch  — Minoo Kavarana, M.D., Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, MUSC; Infants with Trisomy 18 and VSD and Interrupted Aortic Arch Should Not Undergo Open Heart Surgery — Eric Graham, M.D., Division of Pediatric Cardiology, MUSC.

Session V: Interactive Audience and Faculty Discussion
Moderator: Sade, professor of surgery. Seminar on Pediatric Controversies — Audiences and Lecturers.

To register, visit

Thomas Antley Pitts II, M.D., (1893 – 1991) served as a member of the board of MUSC for 36 years and served as its chairman for 25 of those years. He left a bequest to endow a series of lectures on medical ethics. The series has become known as the Thomas Pitts Memorial Lectureship and has been held annually since 1993.

October 9, 2013

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