2019 Conference Speakers

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Our conference plenary speakers are well-respected in their fields and present during conference plenary sessions. They are joined by dozens of workshop and parallel presenters from a wide spectrum of professional backgrounds and topical expertise.

 Tracy A. Balboni, MD, MPH

Tracy A. Balboni

Tracy A. Balboni is associate professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School and associate physician of radiation oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She also serves as the clinical director, Supportive and Palliative Radiation Oncology Service, at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center. Her primary research interests are in palliative care, including the psychosocial aspects of advanced cancer and radiotherapy for palliation. Within the psychosocial aspects of advanced cancer, she has a particular focus on the role of religion and spirituality in the experience of cancer. This includes the impact of religion/spirituality on coping and end-of-life medical care and the impact of spiritual care in the medical setting on patient end-of-life outcomes.

 Theo A. Boer, PhD

Theo A. Boer

Theo A. Boer is senior lecturer of ethics at the Protestant Theological University in Groningen, Netherlands. He also serves as a fellow in CBHD’s Academy of Fellows. Boer has extensive experience on the relations between ethics, institutional healthcare, and Christian faith, as well as in the ethics of euthanasia and assisted suicide. He chairs the Committee on Bioethics and Biotechnology of the Conference of European Churches, is a board member of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy (Section Ethics and Practical Philosophy), chairs the Dutch and Belgian Research Group in Theological Ethics, and co-chairs the Evangelical Ethics interest group of the (American) Society of Christian Ethics. His present research includes end-of-life decisions, new diagnostic methods, human enhancement, and the ethics of war and peace. Read More

 D. A. Carson, PhD

Don Carson

D. A. Carson is emeritus professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has served since 1978. He is also president of The Gospel Coalition. Carson has served as an assistant pastor and pastor, has done itinerant ministry in Canada and the United Kingdom, and he is an active guest lecturer in academic and church settings around the world. Carson has written or edited more than fifty books, including The Pillar New Testament CommentaryThe Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism, and the long-popular New Testament Commentary Survey.

 Lydia S. Dugdale, MD, MAR

Lydia S. Dugdale

Lydia S. Dugdale is associate professor in the Section of General Internal Medicine and the associate director of the Program for Biomedical Ethics at Yale School of Medicine. Her teaching commitments at Yale include clinical medicine and general ethics to medical students and residents. Dugdale’s scholarship focuses on biomedical ethics, with particular emphasis on care at the end of life. She is editor of the book Dying in the Twenty-first Century: Toward a New Ethical Framework for the Art of Dying Well, has published widely in peer-reviewed and popular press journals, and has been interviewed on television and public radio. She practices primary care medicine with Yale Internal Medicine Associates

 John F. Kilner, PhD

John F. Kilner

John F. Kilner is the Franklin Forman Chair of Ethics, professor of bioethics and contemporary culture, and the director of bioethics degree programs at Trinity International University. From the 1994 founding of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity until 2005, Kilner served as the Center’s president and CEO. He presently serves as a senior fellow in the Academy of Fellows of CBHD. An author of numerous articles, he has also written or edited over twenty books, including his award-winning Dignity and Destiny: Humanity in the Image of God. A frequent speaker and seminar leader, he most commonly addresses issues related to resource allocation, age-based and other forms of rationing, treatment termination, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, human cloning, assisted reproduction, genetic intervention, stem cell research, ethical methodology, cultural values, and social change. Read More

 Patrick T. Smith, PhD

Patrick T. Smith

Patrick T. Smith is associate research professor of theological ethics and bioethics at Duke Divinity School and senior fellow for the Kenan Institute for Ethics. He is also associate faculty with the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and the History of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. Smith has worked professionally in clinical contexts dealing with the ethics of hospice care. As a student and product of the black Baptist church tradition that flows from the African-American Christian experience, he seeks to integrate its spiritual, theological, and ethical resources for a public theology that bears witness in the form of a robust social ethic. He currently serves on the board of directors for the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and is a fellow in CBHD’s Academy of Fellows. Read More

 Jon C. Tilburt, MD, MPH

Jon Tilburt

Jon C. Tilburt is consultant in the Division of General Internal Medicine and the Division of Health Care Policy & Research, as well as professor of medicine and biomedical ethics at the Mayo Clinic – Rochester. His research and writing interests include biomedical ethics, healthcare decision-making, and improving care and human connection in health systems, including how best to incorporate the beliefs and values of patients and clinicians into clinical care. Tilburt is a member of the Ethics Committee for the Society of General Internal Medicine from 2014–present and recipient of the Professionalism Article Prize from the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation (2013). Tilburt's studies help clinical caregivers respond to the hopes, fears, beliefs and values in the routines of health care organizations, as well as advocate for humane health policy.

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