John Collins Harvey Lecture & Pellegrino Seminar

Annual John Collins Harvey Lecture & 5th Annual Pellegrino Seminar

Thursday, March 1 - Friday, March 2, 2018
Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center
Washington, DC


Click here to Register



Pellegrino Seminar


Edmund Pellegrino was one of the earliest writers in the modern era of the philosophy of medicine and the founding editor the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. He wrote about topics such as the nature of the patient-physician relationship, the process of clinical reasoning, the goals of medicine, the relationship of medicine to society, team-based medical care, and the relationship between the philosophy of medicine and medical ethics. Several anthologies have collected his works, but these have concentrated on his medical ethics rather than his philosophy of medicine. Moreover, few have engaged his work in the philosophy of medicine critically or examined its place as the field has grown since he first began to explore these topics in the 1960s. This year's conference will take a fresh look at Pellegrino’s work in the philosophy of medicine, with one eye looking back to his original body of work and another eye looking forward to how his writing might inform contemporary conversations regarding the philosophy of medicine. 

The conference will be a two-day event, with the John Collins Harvey Lecture and dinner on the evening of Thursday, March 1, 2018, followed by the all-day 5th Annual Pellegrino Seminar on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Registration is online, and will admit you to both days.  During registration, you will be able to RSVP to one or both days. Use the website (see link above) to access information about the speakers, the agenda, event location, and announcements.


2018 Pellegrino Young Scholars' Essay Prize

An important feature of this year’s Annual Pellegrino Seminar sponsored by the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University will be the Pellegrino Young Scholars’ Prize. We invite graduate students, professional students and post-doctoral fellows to submit essays addressing aspects and issues of the philosophy of medicine.The author of the winning essay will receive $500 and will be invited to present their work in a 45 minute lecture at this year’s annual Pellegrino Seminar to be held at Georgetown University on March 2, 2018 (Click here for more information on the Seminar and to register).

The award winner will receive paid domestic travel and (2 day) housing costs to attend the symposium. The winning essay will be published in a forthcoming special issue of the journal Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. Two runner up essayists will be presented with certificates. The runners up may present their papers in poster format at the conference should they choose to attend, and their essays will be considered for publication (if merited, but not guaranteed).  

Essays should be original, make reference to the work of Edmund Pellegrino, address some aspect of the philosophy of medicine, and be no more than 3500 words in length (plus references and notes). While any style is acceptable, APA format is preferred.  The essay contest winner for 2018 has been selected:

Xavier Symons, PhD(c)

The Centre for Moral Philosophy and Applied Ethics, Australian Catholic University

John Collins Harvey Lecture: Featured Speaker

"Health Care as a Vocation and the Catholic Imagination"


Myles Sheehan, SJ, MD

Link to Bio

Speakers of the 5th Annual PEllegrino Seminar

Patrick Daly, MD, MA

Lonergan Institute at Boston College


Kay Toombs, PhD

Associate Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Baylor University


James Marcum, PhD

Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University


Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution 


Kyle Karches, MD

Instructor, Department of Internal Medicine, St. Louis University School of Medicine


2018 Essay Contest Winner

Xavier Symons, PhD(c)

The Centre for Moral Philosophy and Applied Ethics, Australian Catholic University

Past Pellegrino Seminar Topics and Videos

"Pellegrino and the Healer's Role": featuring reflections on the medical profession and the role of the healer, and 

"Clinical Ethics in the Tradition of Pellegrino": featuring reflections on current topics in clinical ethics through the lens of Pellegrino's works, such as end-of-life care, genomic medicine, and neuroethics