Bioethics Symposium

Toward an Anti-racist Bioethics

The 14th annual Bioethics Symposium was held in-person on Thursday, April 13 from 1-5:30 p.m. in Health Sciences Learning Center Room 1306.

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What would it mean to have a truly anti-racist bioethics?

The academic discipline of bioethics has long presented itself as the moral compass of medicine and public health. Yet the starkly unjust patterns of health outcomes by race in the United States — and the social structures enforcing these patterns — are themselves marginalized topics in bioethics. This year’s Bioethics Symposium aims to assess the state of bioethics today, both as an agenda-setting academic discipline and as set of guidelines that routinely shapes medical care and public health practice.

What would it mean to have a truly anti-racist bioethics? Whose voices and academic work must be centered to align bioethics with ideals that are routinely endorsed but seldom fully embodied? And what concrete health policy measures would be implemented in a world where genuinely anti-racist ethical principles are as influential as more traditional principles like autonomy, beneficence, and non-harm?


Yolonda Wilson, PhD

Center for Health Care Ethics, Saint Louis University

“Anti-Racist Bioethics, Structural Injustice, and the Struggle for Hearts and Minds”

Yolonda Wilson

Keisha S. Ray, PhD

McGovern Medical School, UTHealth Houston

“Calling all (Black) Bioethicists for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”

Keisha Ray

Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH

Dept of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology & Newborn Nursery, UW–Madison

“Combatting racial inequities in infant and maternal mortality: A personal and professional journey"

Jasmine Zapata Headshot

Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, MA, CDM

UW Health Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and SMPH Associate Dean for Diversity and Equity Transformation

“Race-based versus Race-conscious Medicine”

Shiva Bidar-Sielaff

Govind Persad, PhD, JD

Sturm College of Law, University of Denver

“Navigating Tradeoffs and Obstacles in an Antiracist Bioethics”

Govind Persad

Camisha Russell, PhD

Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon

“The Case for Healthcare Reparations”

Camisha Russell

Questions about this event? Contact SMPH Signature Events at

Accessibility statement: 
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is committed to accessibility. If you need an accommodation to attend or participate in this event, please contact the SMPH signature events team at We ask that accommodation requests be made no less than two weeks before an event. We will make a thorough attempt to fulfill requests made after this date but cannot guarantee they will be met.

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