January 6, 2020 - Sarah Vittone, Ph.D., an assistant professor and clinical ethics consultant from the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University, will deliver the 2020 Bessette Lecture on Medical Ethics on Tuesday, January 21, at King’s College.  The free public lecture, titled “Before and After the Harm: Ethical Choices and Medical Error,” will take place at 7 p.m. in the Burke Auditorium of the McGowan School of Business, located at the corner of N. River and W. Union streets.

In case of inclement weather, the lecture will be held at the same time and location on Tuesday, January 28.

Saint André Bessette, the first Holy Cross Congregation member to attain sainthood, was known as a healer and for his devotion to the sick and afflicted.

Medical errors are estimated to be the third leading cause of death in the United States, and, according to the World Health Organization, patient harm is the fourteenth leading cause of global disease burden, comparable to tuberculosis and malaria. Despite significant focus on error analysis and safety processes since the beginning of the 21st century, medical error has escalated. Dr. Vittone will use case examples to explore appropriate responses to medical error.  

Dr. Vittone holds two nursing degrees from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in bioethics from Loyola University Chicago. She teaches undergraduate and graduate students at Georgetown. She has more than 20 years of experience in clinical ethics consultation.  Her clinical ethics interests are in decision making and surrogacy, and issues at the interface of vulnerable populations and health systems.

For more information, please contact Dr. Bernard Prusak, director, McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, at (570) 208-5900, ext. 5689.