On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Caplan, the Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, will evaluate the inability of some cultures to learn from the Holocaust by revisiting the attitudes of educated doctors and scientists in the past in his lecture, "Why Is It So Difficult to Learn the Ethical Lessons of the Holocaust?" Caplan will refute the preconceived notion that the scientists and physicians who practiced during the Holocaust were mad or evil, but were in fact educated and capable professionals who somehow believed that they were behaving morally within their social-political situation.
Kass, the Addie Clark Harding Professor at the University of Chicago and Hertog Fellow in Social Thought at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and past chair of the President's Council on Bioethics, will present his lecture, "A More Perfect Human - The Promise and Peril of Modern Medicine" on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Kass, a published author of six books and numerous white papers on topics ranging from human cloning, human dignity and ethical care-giving in an aging society, will illustrate, in his opinion, the dangers of relying on eugenics and biomedical advances to fix human deformities and imperfections.
Both lectures will take place at Holocaust Museum Houston, 5401 Caroline St., and will begin at 6 p.m.
The lectures are a continuation of a 15-part series designed to help understand how the Holocaust's horrific medical practices shape modern medical ethics. Other upcoming lectures will feature such compelling topics as eugenics and genetics; the doctor/patient relationship and physician-assisted suicide.
All lectures are free, but advanced registration is required.
For information on CME and CNE credits for medical professionals attending this program, visit www.utcme.net.
An exhibit, "How Healing Becomes Killing: Eugenics, Euthanasia and Extermination," complements the lecture series and provides provocative historical documentation of the role played by scientists, physicians and government officials at the six "euthanasia" centers where they murdered thousands of Germany's most vulnerable citizens. There is no admission charge to view the exhibit, now in the Mincberg Gallery at the Museum’s Morgan Family Center (5401 Caroline St.) in Houston’s Museum District. The exhibit runs through Feb. 3, 2008. Viewing hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
For more information about "Medical Ethics and the Holocaust," visit www.hmh.org/medethics.