The New York Academy of Medicine Section on the History of Medicine and Public Health is pleased to announce the John K. Lattimer Lecture for 2006.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
James H. Jones, Ph.D.
The Decision to Put David Into "The Bubble": Treatment or Research?
Reception 5:30 PM, Lecture 6:00PM
New York Academy of Medicine-1216 Fifth Ave., New York
In 1971, a team of pediatricians at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas, went to extraordinary lengths to achieve a sterile delivery of an infant. Moments after his birth, they placed David Vetter, who later became known to the world as "David the Bubble Boy," in a carefully designed isolator that they hoped would protect him from germs and viruses. The reason for these heroic precautions was that David's parents and doctors had reason to believe that he might be born with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), a genetic disorder that leaves its victims with problems ranging from compromised immunity to the total absence of an immune system. Neither his parents nor the doctors had any way of knowing it at the time, but David was destined to spend all but a few weeks of his twelve years of life in isolation. No other child in medical history survived this long in an isolator.
This talk will examine the decision to place David in the isolator, reconstructing the complex set of issues raised by this particular case and the options that were available. The decision to place David in an isolator offers a case study for examining the nature of decision-making in medicine when doctors and parents confront a deadly childhood disease and new technology comes to the rescue.
James H. Jones is an independent scholar living in San Francisco. A leading historian of American social and intellectual history, Jones is the author of Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, A Tragedy of Race and Medicine, which won academic prizes, was a New York Times Book Review "Best Book," and played an important role in the national dialogue on the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. Jones was invited to the White House when President William J. Clinton delivered the nation's formal apology for the Tuskegee Study, and provided the historical overview for the Tuskegee Study for CNN on that occasion. His most recent book was Alfred C. Kinsey: A Public/Private Life, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, and was serialized in part in The London Times. Jones's essays and reviews have appeared in The Washington Post Book World, the New York Times Book Review and the Op/Ed sections of the Los Angles Times. He is currently at work on a book on David Vetter, and a full-length biography of William Jefferson Clinton.
Save the Dates!
Thursday, March 23
Janet Golden, Rutgers University
The Iago Galdston Lecture
“The Making of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome”
Wednesday, April 26
The Annual Friends of the Rare Book Room Lecture
Roger Gaskell, “Recreating the Harveian Library of the London College of Physicians”
Join the Friends of the Rare Book now to receive an invitation to an after-lecture dinner at the Academy.
Wednesday, May 17
The Lilianna Sauter Lecture
Amy Fairchild and Ron Bayer, Columbia University, “The Searching Eyes of Government: Public Health Surveillance in Twentieth-Century America”
All Lectures at 6 PM, Receptions at 5:30 PM
This event is free and open to the public. CME credit is available. For more information about NYAM programs in the history of medicine, visit our website at http://www.nyam.org/initiatives/im-histe.shtml , write email@example.com , or call Christian Warren at 212.822.7314.
The Academy's Rare Book Room was featured in the New York Times. To read a press release, with a link to the article, visit: http://www.nyam.org/news/2258.html
Historical programs at NYAM are supported by the Friends of the Rare Book Room. Please join the Friends now. Write firstname.lastname@example.org for details, or download a membership form at: http://www.nyam.org/initiatives/docs/FRBR_Renewal.pdf
THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF MEDICINE 1216 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10029
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