past event
Health Care

SOF Two-Day Symposium: Ethical Dilemmas & Health Policy Decisions: Living Well as an Aging Society

In collaboration with the Health, Medicine, and Society Program.

It is no surprise that Atul Gawande’s, Being Mortal, and Paul Kalanithi’s, When Breath Becomes Air, skyrocketed to the top of the New York Times Bestseller Lists, captivating the hearts and minds of tens of millions of readers. The themes these two books address are both timely and timeless: What does it mean to live “The Good Life”, even when faced with some of life’s most difficult and inevitable challenges? In a world where we are living longer, are we ensuring that we are living well and what does well mean? How do we as a society, address the ethical issues surrounding healthcare and longer lifespans?  Is our healthcare system failing patients when they face serious illness? What healthcare policy shifts need to adapt to ensure we all have the opportunity to live “The Good Life” even through our last years? Through readings, lecture, and group discussion, this seminar will offer an exploration of issues in a riveting interactive format moderated by Dr. Diane Meier and Dr. BJ Miller.

View full agenda here


Dr. Diane E. Meier is Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), a national organization devoted to increasing access to quality palliative care in the United States. Under her leadership the number of palliative care programs in U.S. hospitals has more than tripled in the last 10 years. She is also co-director of the Patty and Jay Baker National Palliative Care Center; Vice-Chair for Public Policy and Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine; Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethics; and was the founder and Director of the Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute from 1997-2011, all at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Meier is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2008 MacArthur Fellowship. She has published more than 200 original peer review papers, and several books. As one of the leading figures in the field of palliative medicine, Dr. Meier has appeared numerous times on television and in print, including ABC World News Tonight, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the New Yorker, AARP, and Newsweek. She figured prominently in the Bill Moyers series On Our Own Terms, a documentary aired on PBS. Meier received her BA from Oberlin College and her MD from Northwestern University Medical School.

Dr. BJ Miller is currently acting as both Zen Hospice Project’s Senior Director and Advocate and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF. He is also an attending specialist for the Symptom Management Service of the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the country’s very first outpatient palliative care clinics. His 2015 TED Talk: “Not Whether But How” (aka “What Matters Most at the End of Life”), a reflection of his vision to make empathic palliative care available to all, ranked among the Top 15 Most Viewed Talks of the year and he continues to speak internationally on the topics of perspective making, aesthetics, and palliative care. Following undergraduate studies at Princeton, Miller received his MD from University of California San Francisco as a Regents’ Scholar, and completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at Harvard Medical School, with clinical duties split between Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Cost: $350/participant or $260/auditor

*This event is by invitation only.

Event information
Tue Jul 26, 2016 - Thu Jul 28, 2016
12:00 am - 12:00 am
Koch Building
Aspen Meadows campus
Aspen, CO