May 2016

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Arthur & Ilene Dalinka Penn Psychiatry Ethics Grand Rounds with Paul Appelbaum MD: “Patients’ Electronic Footprints: A New Source of Data for Mental Health Treatment?”

Paul S. Appelbaum, M.D.
Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Law
Director, Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry
College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University

"Patients’ Electronic Footprints: A New Source of Data for Mental Health Treatment?"

This presentation considers patients’ electronic footprints as a source of information for mental health treatment. Relevant data can range from social media postings to biometric monitoring to geotagging. Such information, shared voluntarily by patients, has potential uses ranging from tracking suicidality to predicting relapse to assessing interpersonal reactions. Use of electronic data, though similar in some ways to traditional collateral information, raises a host of ethical and practical concerns that will be the focus of this talk.

Enrolling Now: Mediation of Clinical Ethics Disputes

The Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy is now enrolling for an intensive workshop, Mediation of Clinical Ethics Disputes, that will take place Thursday-Sunday, August 4-7, 2016.

Professional mediators possess a unique skill set applicable to the facilitation of difficult conversations between individuals in emotionally laden situations. An effective mediation process can generate solutions that address the underlying interests of all disputants and resolve conflicts that appear intractable. This skill set has increasingly been recognized as invaluable to the work of clinical ethics consultants as they navigate conflicts between and among patients, families, surrogates and providers. Moreover, given wide-spread agreement that communication failures lie at the root of many clinical conflicts, mediation values and catalyzes the effective communication of individual concerns, values, perspectives and feelings -- all of which are essential to the clinical ethics consultation process. This hands-on Workshop introduces the principal techniques of mediation through the use of simulated role plays with a focus on conflicts caused by communication breakdowns, highly charged value-conflicts, and cultural differences.
Instructor-Student ratio of 1:6. Space is limited. Students will earn Penn course credit equivalent to 1.5 credit hours (one-half of a regular course). Cost of the workshop is $2,650, which includes meals and materials.  Tuition benefits can be applied. The registration form can be found at:

For more information, please download the flyer below.