Medicine on Trial

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu


September 21, 2006, New York, NY

In late August, the New York Times reported that a survey of more than 2,600 surgeons and medical specialists revealed "a wide variation in the doctors' willingness to disclose errors and in the ways they would present the details to patients."

Sixteen of the country's leading experts in the fields of medicine, bioethics, and law will examine the ethical and moral dimensions of medical errors and medical liability reform at "Medicine on Trial," a full–day conference on Sunday, October 22 at The Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street) in New York City.

This conference is being organized by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS, and sponsored by the Finkelstein Institute, the Medical Society of the State of New York, and the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics of Fordham University School of Law. Conference Co–Chairs are Leonard Sharzer, Rabbi and MD, Fellow of the Finkelstein Institute (link), and Laurie Zoloth, PhD, Director of the Center for Bioethics, Science and Society, and Professor of Religion at Northwestern University. Continuing Medical Education and Continuing Legal Education credits are available.*

The stellar panel of experts includes, among others, Tom Baker, JD, Columbia University Law School and author of The Medical Malpractice Myth; Nancy Berlinger, PhD, MDiv, The Hastings Center and author of After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness; Lucian Leape, MD, Harvard School of Public Health and the author of the seminal 1994 article, "Error in Medicine"; Carol Liebman, JD, Director of the Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic and the author, with Nancy Dubler, of Bioethics Mediation: A Guide to Shaping Shared Solutions. Also, Richard Peer, MD, President, Medical Society of the State of New York; Joyce Raskin, LLM, Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics at Fordham and Chair of the Bioethical Issues Committee of the Association of the Bar of New York City; Joel Roth, Rabbi and PhD, JTS, one of the country's leading experts in halakhah (Jewish law); and Lee Taft, JD, MDiv, a lawyer and ethicist concerned with apology and its role in the process of repentance, both personal and societal, and former Acting Dean of Students at Harvard Divinity School.

Topics to be discussed include: identifying and correcting systemic problems in health–care settings that contribute to medical errors; responses to errors once they have occurred, including apology, mediation, and alternatives to litigation; questions surrounding the litigation process, including expert testimony by paid experts, jury of one's peers, and medical courts; and the problems associated with the cost of liability insurance.

The program is intended for a wide audience, including lawyers, physicians, clergy, ethicists, and interested laypeople. Conference hours are 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Space is limited and registration is required by Monday, October 16. The registration fee (which includes kosher meals) is $100 and $45 for full–time students. CME and CLE credits are available at an additional fee.

Registration and further information is available by contacting the JTS Department of Public Events at (212) 280–6093 or email.

*6.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Continuing Medical Education Credits (TM) are available, as are seven non–transitional New York State Continuing Legal Education credits in the areas of ethics (4 credits) and professional practice (3 credits). A financial hardship application for the CLE credits can be found at http://law.fordham.edu/cle.htm.

Editors/Reporters: To cover the "Medicine on Trial conference or for more information on the Finkelstein Institute, please contact Sherry Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678–8953; or email.

Since 1938, the Louis Finkelstein Institute has maintained an innovative interfaith and inter–group relations program that emphasizes conversation among diverse communities about matters of public significance. Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

Medicine on Trial Conference Faculty

Richard Anderson, MD, CEO of The Doctors' Company, a mutual medical liability insurance company.

Tom Baker, JD, Joseph F. Cunningham Visiting Professor of Commercial and Insurance Law, Columbia University Law School, and Connecticut Mutual Professor of Law and Director, Insurance Law Center, University of Connecticut School of Law.

Nancy Berlinger, PhD, MDiv, Deputy Director and Associate for Religious Studies, The Hastings Center.

Charles Bosk, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania.

Elliot Dorff, Rabbi, PhD, Rector and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of Judaism.

Lee Goldsmith, MD, LLB, an attorney, medical doctor, and partner at Goldsmith Richman & Harz in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, specializing in healthcare law.

David N. Hoffman, General Counsel and Vice President for Ethics and Compliance, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York.

Fred M. Jacobs, MD, JD, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

Lucian Leape, MD, Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, Harvard School of Public Health.

Carol Liebman, JD, Clinical Professor, Columbia University Law School and Director of the Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic.

Richard Peer, MD, President, Medical Society of the State of New York.

Joyce Raskin, LLM, Project Director, Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics, Fordham University School of Law.

Joel Roth, Rabbi, PhD, Louis Finkelstein Professor of Talmud and Jewish Law, The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Leonard Sharzer, Rabbi, MD, Fellow of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies, The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Lee Taft, JD, MDiv, a lawyer and ethicist, is concerned with apology and its role in the process of repentance — both personal and societal.

Laurie Zoloth, PhD, Director of the Center for Bioethics, Science and Society, and Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities and of Religion, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.