McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

When life begins focus of lecture

Published: January 24, 2007
Sholom Glouberman
Sholom Glouberman, Philosopher in Residence at the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care and Associate Scientist at Baycrest’s Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit.

The widening scope of dealing with birth and death that has resulted as scientific discovery blurs the line of when life begins and ends will be the subject of the annual Enkin Lectureship being held today.

Sholom Glouberman, a philosopher and scientist who uses philosophical methods and conceptual analysis to study organizations and systems in the area of health, will deliver the lecture entitled Birth and Death: The Limits of Scientific Contributions.

Glouberman is the Philosopher in Residence at the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care and Associate Scientist at Baycrest’s Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit. The lecture will be held today from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 3020 of the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery.

Glouberman has studied organizations and systems for the past 25 years. In recent years he has focused increasingly on health, which he believes is the single most challenging and little-charted frontier. He has worked with and lectured to a wide variety of health professionals, managers and policy makers in Europe and North America.

As scientific discovery increasingly blurs the boundaries between the living and the non-living human being, Glouberman says that philosophers and policy analysts can no longer depend on scientific evidence alone to draw conclusions about particular definitions of the beginning or end of life. In his McMaster lecture, Glouberman will describe the need for a broader conception of policy development for these two points of life.

The Enkin Lectureship is named for Dr. Murray Enkin and his wife, Eleanor, who have made important contributions to clinical research in pregnancy and childbirth. They are advocates of family-centred maternity care, midwifery and consumer choice in obstetrics. Dr. Enkin, an outspoken skeptic on the value of technology in care, is a professor emeritus of the departments of obstetrics and gynecology, and clinical epidemiology and biostatistics.

The annual lecture aims to reflect a focus on the essential role of science in the service of humanity, while promoting humanitarian values in science and in clinical research in particular.

It is jointly sponsored by the departments of obstetrics and gynecology and clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, the McMaster Midwifery Program, and the Committee for Scientific Development in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

All are welcome to attend.

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