About "LOVE & LET DIE"

11:00 am – 9:00 pm
NYU’s Cantor Film Center
36 East 8th Street, NYC

(first-come, first-in; no tickets or reservations)

With doctors, nurses, sociologists, anthropologists, ethicists, monologists,
stressed-out baby boomers and their soon to be even more stressed-out kids,
evaluating the need for a broader view of (Lifelong) Family Planning

Featuring Mike Daisey, Jad Abumrad, Lawrence Weschler,
Sharon Kaufman, Elizabeth Capezuti, Diane E. Meier,
Arthur Caplan, Martha Holstein, and many others

With increasing frequency these days, one hears stories of 60 year-olds having to cope with the excruciating medically extended lives of their ever-more-incapacitated 90 year-old parents.  But look at the situation from the point of view of their 25 year-old children, trying to imagine what the world will be like when those same baby-boom parents reach 90.  We may well be approaching a situation in which we as a society will have to choose between living in a world where an 85-year-old can routinely be granted five hip operations, or one in which we can still afford, say, primary school.  Why do we as a country (and as individuals within families) have such a hard time talking about such things—and in particular about The Good Death, which is to say about Family Planning broadly conceived—and how might we begin to change that?

As has become usual with these all-day Institute events, Love and Let Die will tackle the issues involved across a wide array of modes from a wide variety of vantages.  The tentative schedule (still subject to change) will run as follows:

Love & Let Die, Saturday June 1st

Program Schedule

11:00 am

The families testify
A pair of dramatic first-person testimonies, alas all too common
with Nancy Biberman and Heather Waters

11:30 am
The Situation on the Ground
A nurse (Elizabeth Capezuti of NYU/NICHE) in conversation with
a doctor (Diane Meier of Mt. Sinai/Palliative Care)

(12:30 - 1:30 pm -- break )

1:30 pm
How doctors think about their own end-of-life options
  Sean Cole reprises his Radiolab podcast short, “The Bitter End,”
in which doctors and Jad Abumrad (and his own doctor father) reveal, how by and large,
doctors emphatically don’t want any heroic efforts expended on their own behalf, and why.
With Abumrad, Dr. Joseph Gallo (Johns Hopkins), and Dr. Ken Murray (USC)

2:30 pm
An anthropological overview of aging and dying in America
with Sharon Kaufman (UCSF) and Martha Holstein (Loyola, Chicago)

4:00 pm
A Modest Proposal (semi-tongue-in-cheek): Suspend all medical research
  Arthur Caplan, director of NYU Langone’s Division of Medical Ethics, will hazard a Swiftian argument to the effect that all medical research at the National Institutes of Health and elsewhere in the U.S. be suspended (since all such research seems to be doing is endlessly prolonging people’s lives to the point where we get into all these sorts of messes).  Originally billed as a debate, until the representative of the status quo had to bow out, Caplan will happily entertain any hesitations or demurrals from the audience.

(5:30 - 6:30 pm -- break)

6:30 pm
Monologist Mike Daisey
with the world premiere of a brand new piece

7:30 pm
A consideration of The Good Death,

and a call for thousands of Necessary Conversations
Lawrence Weschler (NYIH) and Samuel Carter (IPK) lead panelists
from earlier in the day in a final discussion of the need for and prospects of
an urgent national dialogue on Family Planning more broadly understood
(8:45 pm -- Conference Ends)


* no tickets or reservations /  first-come, first in  * 

NOTE:  One can come for the entire day, or for individual sessions. 


11:00 am -- The families testify

Nancy Biberman, a leader in Columbia University’s student movement in 1968, began her work career as a Legal Services Lawyer where she was part of the team that won the first class action lawsuit in the country to give battered women access to the court system and police protection. In 1980 she helped create the SRO Law Project and became the director of its East Side office. She subsequently spearheaded the nationally recognized West End Intergenerational Residence, a 100-unit dwelling on Manhattan's Upper West Side, before going on, in 1991, to found WHEDco, Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation in The Bronx, where she is still president.

Heather Waters works as a nonprofit finance and administration manager, currently with NICHE (Nurses Improving Care of Healthsystem Elders) at the NYU College of Nursing.  During the 2012-2013 period, she was maintaining a blog about economic reform for the people by the people entitled ProfitNonprofit.com.  Several of her poems have been published in small journals.

11:30 am  --  The Situation on the Ground

Elizabeth Capezuti, PhD, RN, FAAN, of NYU College of Nursing is the Dr. John W. Rowe Professor in Successful Aging; Co-Director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing; and Director of NICHE program (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders).  An internationally recognized geriatric nurse researcher, Dr. Capezuti is known for her work in improving the care of older adults by interventions and models that positively influence health care provider’s knowledge and work environment.  She has disseminated the findings of 35 funded projects in 4 co-edited books and more than a hundred peer reviewed articles and book chapters.

Dr. Diane E. Meier is Chief Executive Officer of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). Under her leadership the number of palliative care programs in U.S. hospitals has more than doubled in the last 5 years. She is also the Vice Chair for Public Policy at the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute where she previously served as Director for twelve years; Professor of Geriatrics and Internal Medicine; and Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008, she edited the first textbook on geriatric palliative care, four editions of Geriatric Medicine and most recently Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness, and figured prominently in the Bill Moyers series On Our Own Terms: Dying in America, a four-part documentary aired on PBS.

1:30 pm  --  How doctors think about their own end-of-life options

Jad Abumrad is the co-host and producer of WNYC's Peabody-Award winning science show, Radiolab. The son of a scientist and a doctor, he did most of his growing up in Tennessee, before studying creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio.  In 2011 he was awarded with a MacArthur Fellowship.

Sean Cole is currently an independent public radio reporter and producer.  He's worked with many well-known programs including Radiolab, This American Life, Marketplace, Studio 360 and All Things Considered.  He is a frequent contributor to The Story with Dick Gordon and serves as that show's fill-in host.  He was the lead producer on Radiolab's "The Bitter End."

Joseph Gallo MD MPH and Professor at Johns Hopkins University directs a longitudinal study of physicians consisting of the medical school classes of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine between 1948 and 1964, a cohort that has become the subject of one of the longest running studies of aging in the world. Every three years since 1999,the cohort of about 800 physicians has been asked about preferences for end-of-life care for themselves, should they become incapacitated to express their own wishes.

Ken Murray, MD, is a retired family doctor in private practice for 30 years, and taught at USC, and was the Founding Medical Director of Lakeside Medical Group in Burbank, California.  His essay “How Doctors Die”, on end-of-life care gained national attention last year, was in competition for the Pulitzer Prize, and was published in the book Best American Essays 2012

2:30 pm  --  An anthropological overview of aging and dying in America

Martha Holstein teaches bioethics and ethics for human service providers at Loyola University in Chicago and conducts research on ethics, policy, and community-based long term care in affiliation with the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group and the Center for Impact Research.  She is currently on the boards of the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, Aging and Disability Advocates, the Chicago Coalition for End-of-Life Care, and the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, and was a Senior Associate for Research at the Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics (1996–2002).

Sharon Kaufman, Chair of the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at University of California, San Francisco, is a medical anthropologist with research interests in the changing culture and structure of U.S. medicine; end-of-life; aging; subjectivity; the relationship of biotechnologies to ethics, governance and medical practice; the shifting terrain of evidence in clinical science; practices of risk assessment; and the anthropology of forms of life.  Her books include And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life and The Ageless Self: Sources of Meaning in Late Life.

4:00 pm  --  A Modest Proposal (semi-tongue-in-cheek):  Suspend all medical research at the National Institutes of Health and elsewhere in the U.S.?

Arthur Caplan recently became the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and founding head of the Division of Bioethics at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, having left his prior position as the Sidney D. Caplan Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, where he’d created the Center for Bioethics and the Department of Medical Ethics.  A Ph.D in the history and philosophy of science in 1979, Caplan also taught there and at the University of Minnesota, where he founded the Center for Biomedical Ethics, and the University of Pittsburgh.  The author or editor of thirty books and over 550 papers in refereed journals, his most recent books include Smart Mice Not So Smart People (Rowman Littlefield, 2006) and the Penn Guide to Bioethics (Springer, 2009).

6:30 pm  --  World Premiere of a New Monologue

Mike Daisey is an internationally celebrated monologist, author, actor and raconteur, whose monologues, since 1997, have covered topics as varied as Nikola Tesla, L. Ron Hubbard, Bertolt Brecht, PT Barnum, the Cold War, globalization, and the New York City Transit system. His latest include The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, which brought much needed attention to the depredations involved in Apple’s Chinese supply chain, and now, American Utopias, which blends accounts of Burning Man, Disney World, and Zuccotti Park.  He will be returning later this year to New York’s Public Theater with All the Faces of the Moon, a theatrical event that will tell an entire story over the course of a lunar month, with 29 unique, standalone performances from September 5 to October 3.

7:30 pm  --  A consideration of The Good Death, and a call for thousands of Necessary Conversations

Samuel Carter is Assistant Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK) at NYU, and Assistant Editor of Public Culture.  Prior to working at the IPK, Mr. Carter worked as Program Coordinator for the President's Office of the Social Science Research Council, where he helped to develop several projects, including two books for the Privatization of Risk Series with Columbia University Press.  Mr. Carter, who has served as a Researcher for Vice President Joe Biden as well as for democratic strategist Robert Shrum, holds an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Policy Analysis and Management from NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School for Public Service.  He also serves on the board of Hollaback, a movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology.

Lawrence Weschler, director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, was for over twenty years (1981-2001) a staff writer at The New Yorker, where his work shuttled between political tragedies and cultural comedies.  In addition to his most recent book, Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative, his over fifteen other titles include Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees (a life of artist Robert Irwin); True to Life (David Hockney); Mr Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder; A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers; and Vermeer in Bosnia.  With today’s symposium, Weschler is concluding his twelve-year directorship of the NYIH, though he will be staying on as a fellow.

For all inquiries, contact the New York Institute for the Humanities:
212.998.2101; nyih.info@nyu.edu






Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 11:00am to 9:00pm


An all-day symposium on Ballooning Longevity, the Quality of Life, and the Coming Generational Smash-Up



Cantor Film Center
36 East 8th Street


Click here to download press release

Click here to download the event poster

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Video of Love & Let Die