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“Wit” author Margaret Edson to address ethics conference in TMC

Physicians and nurses can earn continuing education units

HOUSTON – (April 5, 2013) – Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Margaret Edson will address an ethics conference for health care professionals, which will be held June 2-3 at the Houston Marriott at the Texas Medical Center. The conference is sponsored by The John P. McGovern, M.D., Center for Humanities and Ethics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Edson will discuss her play titled “Wit,” which takes a hard look at confronting mortality and addresses many of the ethical issues faced by doctors and nurses, as well as researchers.  There will be a screening of the movie version starring English actress Emma Thompson.

The conference is titled “Ethics as the Core of the Curriculum: The Next Innovation in Interprofessional Education” and is designed for all health care professionals.

“Everyone is interested in doing what’s best for the patient. That’s why it makes sense for everyone to get the same instruction,” said Jeffrey Spike, Ph.D., conference organizer and ethicist at UTHealth.  “If you’re going to encounter ethical challenges in real life as a member of an interprofessional team, then we should teach ethics in interprofessional settings.”  

The conference features workshops by leading ethicists known for their interprofessional education. They will show health care professionals how to address patient communication issues such as sharing bad news and disclosing errors. Continuing education units are available for physicians and nurses.

Presenters include: Pedro “Joe” Greer, M.D. and Marin Gillis, Ph.D., of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University;  Mark Earnest, M.D., Ph.D.  and Tess Jones, Ph.D. of the University of Colorado School of Medicine; and Sarah Shannon, R.N., Ph.D. and Karen McDonough, M.D., of the University of Washington.

For information, call Erin Kellar at 713-500-3137 or send an email to The cost of the conference, which includes meals, is $195. Discounts are available for UT System faculty, staff and students.