Speaker to explore the ethical dilemmas tied to COVID-19

Paul Root Wolpe

Jewish ethicist Paul Root Wolpe will discuss “Ethical Challenges of the COVID Pandemic” in this year’s Tzedek Lecture on Thursday, May 14.

The Oregon Humanities Center talk will start at 4 p.m. on Zoom. Registration is required.

Wolpe will speak on emerging ethical issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Included will be questions about allocating scarce resources; inherent biases of age, class, race and disability; privacy; the ethics of social distancing; and the importance of leadership.

Wolpe is the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics and director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University, where he is a professor in the departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Sociology.

Wolpe’s work focuses on the social, religious, ethical and ideological effects of medicine and technology on the human condition. His teaching and publications range across multiple fields of bioethics and sociology, including death and dying, genetics and eugenics, sexuality and gender, mental health and illness, alternative medicine, and bioethics in extreme environments such as space.

He also writes and talks about the Jewish contribution to thinking about the ethical aspects of medicine and technology.

Wolpe, a member of Atlanta’s Congregation Shearith Israel, participates in Scientists in Synagogues, a program that explores interesting and pressing questions surrounding Judaism and science. He is the son of the late Rabbi Gerald I. Wolpe, one of the great figures in American Jewish life, and brother of Rabbi David Wolpe, the Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

Wolpe spent 15 years as a senior bioethicist for NASA, where he still serves as a bioethical consultant. He is the editor in chief of the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience. He is a past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, the current president of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors and served as the first national bioethics adviser to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.