2020 Plunkett Lecture

October 13, 2020
St Vincent’s Hospital Medical Grand Rounds

“Ableism – a malady of modern medical decision making?”

Dr William F Sullivan
Associate Professor, Faculty of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto
St Michael’s Hospital Family Health Team
Surrey Place 

“Ableism” refers to discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities when their abilities are overlooked, ignored or dismissed. This webinar focuses on how healthcare providers can enable people with disabilities better to participate in medical decision- making with supports as needed. This includes affirming deliberative (affective) insights and supporting relational autonomy. The webinar concludes with practical tools for promoting decision-making capabilities. 

Dr. Sullivan is the founding director of the Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Initiative (DDPCI), which developed the Canadian consensus guidelines for the primary care of adults with developmental disabilities (DD) and established primary care tools and learning resources for health professionals and caregivers. His clinical work is based in Medical Services at Surrey Place Centre and in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. 

Chair: Prof Bernadette Tobin 

Past lectures

Lectures from more recent years, together with invited speakers, are listed below. Recorded lectures can be accessed via the topic link.

Year Lecturer Topic
 2019  Professor Julian Hughes

“To thine own self be true!” Reflections on authenticity, citizenship and dementia.

View the recording of the 2019 Plunkett Lecture

Listen via ABC’s Big Ideas website

2018 Professor Daniel Sulmasy MD PhD MACP, Professor of Biomedical Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington DC

Should we take away Hippocrates' licence? Professionalism, conscience and tolerance in a good society

View the recording of the 2018 Plunkett lecture

Listen via ABC's Big Ideas website

2017 Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney Drive-thru healthcare: is there more to the healing relationship than supply and demand?
2016 Mr Mark Tedeschi AM QC,NSW Senior Crown Prosecutor and author of Murder at Myall Creek John Hubert Plunkett: The Martin Luther King of colonial Australia and prosecutor of the Myall Creek massacre trials
2015 Associate Professor Justin Oakley, Monash University What should surgical patients be told? The value and limits of medical transparency.
2014 Professor Wendy Rogers, Macquarie University Over diagnosis: when too much medicine is bad for your health!
2013 Dr Steve Matthews, ACU Musical memories and the way we were: musical therapy in progressive cognitive impairment.
2012 Dr Andrew McGee, Queensland University of Technology My brain, my mind, my body: implications for stem cell research, end of life and organ donation.
2011 Dr Paul Biegler, Monash University The ethical treatment of depression: shortcomings in contemporary practice.
2010 Dr John Forge, University of Sydney The responsible scientist: ethical challenges of research and practice.
2009 Prof Greg Craven, ACU and Mr Edward Santow, University of Sydney Human rights laws: a benefit to patients, participants in research, residents in nursing homes?

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