ICB Events and Archive

Obesity: A Growing Epidemic
When Monday, November 11, 2013
Speaker Amy von Sydow-Green, M.D. M.S.
Topic Obesity

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 35% of adults and nearly 18% of children in the United States are considered to be obese. This is a problem that many experts predict will become more of an issue in the years to come, as close to $150 billion are spent annually on medical costs related to obesity. On average, an individual who is obese will spend close to $1,500 more a year on medical expense than will one who is not obese. Without intervention many will be at risk for heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses that can have a profound effect on one's life. Therefore, prevention and education is the best way to stop obesity from becoming even more of an issue in the United States.

Amy von Sydow-Green is a recent graduate at Drexel University where she received her M.S. in Human Nutrition. Prior to pursuing a career in nutrition, she received a medical degree from her home country of Sweden. She is currently completing her dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian. She has a strong interest and background in weight management and obesity, as demonstrated by her employment, publications, and books of which she has either authored or co-authored. Her writing has helped to describe what are possible short and long term results of modifications to one's lifestyle as well as giving advice and recipes for healthier foods for one to enjoy. Amy has had experience working in the field of nutrition, as she has provided weight management programs at the Center for Integrated Nutrition and Performance at Drexel University. She also helped provide weight loss counseling to women at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania.

A link to the article Amy co-authored can be found here:


Concussions: Neurological and Ethical Perspectives
When Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Speaker Dr. Douglas H. Smith, M.D., Director, Penn Center for Brain Injury and Repair Mr. Eric Laudano, Head Athletic Trainer/Manager of Sports Medicine Department, University of Pennsylvania
Topic The devastating impact that traumatic brain injury (TBI) has on society is most dramatically revealed through numbers. Each year, an estimated 2 million Americans suffer some form of traumatic brain injury.

Douglas H. Smith serves as Director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair (CBIR) and is the Robert A. Groff Endowed Professor and Vice Chairman for Research and Education in Neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania. Penn's multidisciplined CBIR includes over twenty-five principal investigators and their laboratory staff collectively studying mechanisms, diagnosis and potential treatments of traumatic brain injury. Dr. Smith is also director of a multi-center U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) program grant on mild traumatic brain injury and oversees an NIH brain injury training grant. Over the last 20 years, Dr. Smith has devoted his full-time efforts to neurotrauma research following completion of fellowships in both molecular biology and neurotrauma at the University of Connecticut. His laboratory investigates the effects of mechanical stretch of axons that results in either damage or growth. They have found that rapid stretch during brain trauma selectively injures axons in the white matter. In turn, aberrant accumulation of proteins in the damaged axons can lead to pathologic changes similar to those found in Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, Dr. Smith’s laboratory has also recently discovered that slow continuous stretching of axon tracts in culture can stimulate enormous growth, creating transplantable living nervous tissue constructs. These tissue engineered constructs have shown promise for repairing large lesions in the nervous system. These collective efforts have resulted in over 150 reports.

Eric Laudano began his appointment as head athletic trainer/manager of sports medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2008. His experience includes head football athletic trainer at Division I scholarship Indiana State University for three years, two years as an athletic trainer at Yale University, and time as a full-time athletic training staff member with the USOC at the United States Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. working with the winter sport athletes of the 2004 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.

Laudano's NFL experience consists of training camp assistant with the Buffalo Bills (2002), New York Giants (2004), and Pittsburgh Steelers (2005) as well as a full time seasonal intern with the Buffalo Bills in 2003. He was hired as only one of three athletic trainers in the country to be hired by the NFL Scouting Combine as the on-field athletic trainer for the NFL's annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind., where he saw the direct medical coverage of the future NFL prospects at the NFL Combine.

Laudano is a native of New Haven, Conn. He obtained a Bachelor's of Science degree in sports medicine from Keene State College in Keene, N.H., and obtained a Masters of Health Science degree with a specialization in biomedical/medical laboratory sciences from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

Fall Panel Discussion
When Monday, November 19, 2012
Speaker Dr.Christine Donahue-Henry,Medical Director Center for Family Health - Springfield, PA
John McCall, PhD, Professor of Philosophy Director, Pedro Arrupe Center for Busines Ethics
Dr. Michael Grosso, M.D. Senior Director, Daiichi Sankyo Pharmaceutical Developmen
Topic Gift Giving in Pharma
Religion and Medicine Series
When Monday, November 12, 2012
Speaker Chaplain Joyce Christman BSN, FCN
Topic Seventh-Day Adventist

As a Christian church, Seventh-day Adventists are a faith community rooted in the beliefs described by the Holy Scriptures. Adventists describe these beliefs in the following ways:

God's greatest desire is for you to see a clear picture of His character. When you see Him clearly, you will find His love irresistible.

For many, "seeing God clearly" requires that they see God's face. However, how He looks is not the issue. Seeing and understanding His character is what's most important. The more clearly we under-stand Him, the more we will find His love irresistible. As we begin to experience His love, our own lives will begin to make more sense.

God most clearly reveals His character in three great events. The first is His creation of man and woman — and His giving them the freedom of choice. He created humans with the ability to choose to love Him or to hate Him! The death of Jesus Christ, God's only Son, on the cross as our substitute is the second great event. In that act He paid the penalty we deserve for our hateful choices toward God and His ways. Jesus' death guarantees forgiveness for those choices and allows us to spend eternity with Him. The third event confirms the first two and fills every heart with hope: Christ's tomb is empty! He is alive, living to fill us with His love!

For more information, please contact:

Theresa M. O’Doherty
Institute of Catholic Bioethics
todohert@sju.edu or 610-660-3425

Richard A. McCormick - Annual Lecture
When Thursday, November 1, 2012
Speaker John J. Paris, S.J., PhD
Topic Parent-Physician Conflict on End-Of-Life Care in the NICU: An Unresolved Dilemma in Modern Medicine

John J. Paris, S.J., PhD is the Michael P. Walsh Professor of Bioethics at Boston College. He is also Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at Tufts Medical School.

Fr. Paris served as consultant to the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethics in Medicine, the United States Senate Committee on Aging, and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. He has published over 180 articles on the area of law, medicine and ethics in publications as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine, and The Wall Street Journal. He is the Ethics Section Editor of The Journal of Perinatology.

Fr. Paris served as a consultant and expert witness in many of the landmark biomedical cases including Quinlan, Brophy, Jobes, Baby K and Gilgunn.

For more information, please contact:

Theresa M. O’Doherty
Institute of Catholic Bioethics
todohert@sju.edu or 610-660-3425

Global Ethics
When Monday, April 11, 2011
Speaker Fr. Jorge Ferrer, S.J., Ph.D.
Topic Global Ethics: Searching Its Foundations
SJU LEARNS: Interfacing Faith and Culture
When Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Speaker n/a
Topic Science, Social Justice and Poverty: The Water Filtration Project

The need for safe drinking water is rising at an exponential rate. The need for water has increased six-fold in the last century, more than twice the rate of the world's population growth. Today, more than 1.1 billion people, mostly in low and middle-income countries, lack access to safe water sources within a reasonable distance (1 kilometer) and reasonable quantities (20 L a day) from their home. The lack of clean and safe drinking water has significant medical and economic implications, especially towards women and children.

Most of these diseases can be easily prevented through the implementation of a water filtration system. To address the need for clean water on a small, immediate scale, the Institute of Catholic Bioethics has designed and constructed two slow sand water filters and are in the process of testing them with various contaminants. A team of students, led and sponsored by the Institute, will present the foundation of this project and discuss some of the ethical implications behind the development and implementation of the system as they relate to science and social justice. Bios of the Presenters

Mike Tecce is a Graduate Fellow to the Institute of Catholic Bioethics at SJU and returned to Hawk Hill last year to complete pre-requisites for medical school after earning a Bachelor's degree in Accounting. During his undergraduate years, Mike was very active in both service and leadership roles and more recently was the student leader for the Just Healthcare in Developing Nations class trip to Guatemala in January 2011. The experience of studying the hardships and experiencing the culture of perople in a developing nation, coupled with research in water filtration techniques has further enhanced his interest in reaching out to underserved populations.

Danielle Lucchesi is a Senior Undergraduate Fellow in the Institute of Catholic Bioethics. She is currently finishing up her senior year at Saint Joseph's University, and plans to attend medical school in the fall. Danielle has been involved in a wide variety of service activities on campus, including the Appalachian Experience, Summer Immersion Programs, and the Philadelphia Service Immersion. Through her experiences in Latin America, Danielle has realized the pressing need for increased access to clean water sources, which has fueled her desire to investigate potential solutions to this international issue.

Matt Fadus is a junior biology major with a minor in healthcare ethics. Matt has been very involved in student life at Saint Joseph's, including Hawk Host tour guide, and immersion trips to Guatemala, Ecuador, and the Appalachian Experience. A minor in healthcare ethics, in addition to the course Just Healthcare in Developing Nations motivated his research for the water filter project to provide a clean, sustainable water source for developing countries.

Joe Harrison is a junior Interdisciplinary Health Services major with Biology and Health Care Ethics minors. He is currently a Research Fellow in the Institute of Catholic Bioethics where he co-published an article in December 2010 in the Medical Science Monitor with Peter A. Clark, S.J., Ph.D. and Kevin Capuzzi, Esq. entitled "Telemedicine: Medical, Legal and Ethical Perspectives." Joe is currently working on a team project on water filtration to be implemented throughout the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Tanzania and also on a project analyzing genetic testing with the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in Camden, New Jersey. He is also a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society. On campus, Joe is very active with different organizations, such as the Appalachian Experience, Summer Immersion Program, Philadelphia Service Immersion Program, and Up Til Dawn. After his time as an undergraduate, he hopes to continue his research and study in the fields of medicine and bioethics. Sponsored by the Office of Mission, SJU Interfaith Task Force, Campus Ministry, Faith Justice Institute, Institute for Catholic Bioethics, Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations

When Monday, March 14, 2011
Speaker Lauren Swanson: Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support Faculty Member: Background and Diagnosis (Children)
John Vacca: Faculty in Education Department SJU: Birth to 5 - Early intervention
Maggie Haag: Community Adult Autism Partnership Program Deveraux Foundation: Care after leaving education system, Late Teens - Early Adulthood
Daniel Conway, MD:Immunologist at St. Christopher's Hospital
Topic Autism: A Look Into A Spectrum Disorder
Work in Progress Presentations by MA Graduate Students
When Thursday, March 3, 2011
Speaker Leah Tourtellotte
Topic The Objectives of Medicine and the Place and Limits of Conscientious Objection by Physicians: A Working Draft

Conscientious objection by a physician concerns her refusal to perform some medical procedure or care plan because she thinks that to do so would be morally wrong. What should a physician do in this circumstance? Tourtellotte disputes the argument of Julian Savulescu that patients are entitled to receive from their physicians all procedures and treatments that are allowable by law. In this Work in Progress she begins her ethical argument that physicians have the right to conscientious objection under certain parameters.

Work in Progress Presentations by MA Graduate Students
When Thursday, March 3, 2011
Speaker n/a
Topic Mandatory Neonatal Male Circumcision in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Common Good: An Ethical Justification By Aloysius Ochasi

Scientific studies have shown that male circumcision decreases the incidence of the HIV infection by 50%. Ochasi makes a strong ethical argument from the perspective of the "common good" that male circumcision should be mandated in Sub-Sahara Africa where HIV/AIDS is decimating the population. Ochasi's argument for mandatory male circumcision, based on the common good, reinforces the same position taken by scholars of our Institute who made the same argument, but from another perspective, viz. the principle of double effect. Their article is entitled "Mandatory Neonatal Male Circumcision in Sub-Saharan Africa: Medical and Ethical Analysis," Medical Science Monitor 13 (12) December 2007.