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Disability, Medicine, and the Path to Health Justice
A Lecture by Joel Michael Reynolds

Book signing to follow. 

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Monday, February 3, at 10 a.m. 

“Health care in the U.S. is at a watershed moment concerning disability,” says philosopher Joel Michael Reynolds, author of The Life Worth Living: Disability, Pain, and Morality, founder of The Journal of Philosophy of Disability , and co-founder of the book series Oxford Studies in Disability, Ethics, and Society. “By listening to disabled people, prioritizing their flourishing, and enacting disability justice, we can improve quality and equity of care across patient populations, build not just better healthcare systems, but social and political systems writ large, and, ultimately, create a world that’s a better fit for all.” 

Reynolds explores foundational issues at the intersection of ethics, biomedicine, and society with a special focus on identifying, mitigating, and eliminating health inequities faced by disabled people. They advocate for and facilitate research efforts that center the lived experience of historically marginalized and oppressed groups, and prioritize community engagement across a diverse range of stakeholders to rectify health disparities and bring about health justice. In this dynamic talk, they will share these insights and challenge us to reimagine disability through clinical practice, research, advocacy, and education. 

Live ASL interpretation will be present and virtual attendance will be available. Lunch will be provided for registered in-person attendees. A book signing will follow the lecture.  

Joel Michael Reynolds is senior research scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, associate professor of philosophy and disability studies, and director of the Disability Studies Program at Georgetown University. They are also faculty in the Department of Family Medicine, the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, and the Medical Humanities Initiative at Georgetown University School of Medicine/Georgetown University Medical Center; senior bioethics advisor to The Hastings Center; and faculty scholar of The Greenwall Foundation. Since 2021, Reynolds has been a visiting lecturer in bioethics at the Yale School of Medicine, and they were the 2023–24 Visiting Professor in Critical Care Ethics & Decision-Making at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The author or co-author of over 60 publications in philosophy and biomedical ethics as well as author or co-editor of 6 books, Reynolds is the founding editor of The Journal of Philosophy of Disability and co-founding editor of the book series Oxford Studies in Disability, Ethics, and Society. In recognition of their work, they were named an Honorary Fellow of the McLaughlin College of Public Policy at York University in 2022 and elected as a Fellow of The Hastings Center in 2023. 

Presented by USC Visions and Voices. Organized by Pamela Schaff (Medical Education, Family Medicine, and Pediatrics), Julie Van Dam (French and Italian), Erika Wright (Medical Education and English), Sabrina Derrington (Pediatrics), and Ron Ben-Ari (Internal Medicine and Medical Education). Co-sponsored by the Keck School of Medicine’s HEAL (Humanities, Ethics, Art, and Law) Program and the Center for Bioethics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Portrait courtesy of Joel Michael Reynolds.

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