Category: 2015-17 Death and Dying

Buddhism and The Dilemmas of Death

Damien Keown, Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Ethics, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Read by and response by Gereon Kopf, Professor of Religion, Luther College

Thursday, February 9, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center


Prof. Keown’s lecture explores the ramifications of the “brain death” criterion of death for Buddhism. Keown suggests that, from a Buddhist perspective, brain death is too uncertain a basis on which to declare the death of a human being. Reviewing attitudes to brain death in Japan and Thailand, Keown concludes that Buddhism does not regard the loss of function in the brain as equivalent to human death.

Damien Keown is Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Ethics at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His main research interests are theoretical and applied aspects of Buddhist ethics, with particular reference to contemporary issues. He is the author of many books and articles including The Nature of Buddhist Ethics (Palgrave, 2001), Buddhism and Bioethics (Palgrave 2001), Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2000), Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2006), and the Oxford Dictionary of Buddhism (Oxford, 2003).

Copy of the Keown Lecture

Prayers to Death and Dying: A Trivium of Sorts to a "Santa Muerte" Book of Devotions

Eduardo Garcia Villada

Associate Professor of Spanish, Drake University

Thursday, November 17, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University
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In this presentation, Prof García interprets the texts of Santa Muerte prayers through the study of their grammar, logic, and rhetoric and in relation to social factors in contemporary Mexico. This presentation also examines Christian and Aztec/Mexican views on life, death, and dying along with the dynamics of conqueror-conquered.

Garcia Villada’s research interests are in the areas of Spanish language proficiency assessment, and Latin American cultural studies in computer-assisted language learning environments. He has published his research in CALICO Journal, Hispania, Journal of Latinos and Education, and Critical Inquiry in Language Studies.

Video of the Lecture

Community Interfaith Dialogue

Moderator:Norma Hirsch
  • Norma Hirsch, Professor of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University
Panelists:
  • Eugene Kiruhura, pastor of the Urban Heights Covenant Church
  • Tanka Dhital, president of the Hindu Cultural and Educational Center
  • Nijaz Valjecvic, imam at Ezan Islamic and Educational Center

Thursday, October 27, 7:00 p.m.
Iles Funeral Homes, Dunn’s Chapel
2121 Grand Ave, Des Moines


Among other questions, the panel seeks to explore beliefs about what happens after death and practices concerning what must be done before and after death. Representatives of three different local refugee communities will explore these beliefs and practices from the perspectives of their religious traditions: Bhutanese Hinduism, Bosnian Islam, and Congolese Christianity. The panelists will focus particularly on the tensions between traditional theologies and rituals of death, and the way in which death has increasingly become the domain of medicine and law.

Audio of the Lecture:

Audio of the Q&A:

Embrace Aging: Aging and the Law

Denise HillhillDenise2

Director of Health Law Programs, Drake University Law School

Tuesday, June 21, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University
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Hill’s innovative use of health law simulations, learning communities, and other active learning strategies have been recognized by her selection as the Faculty Member of the Year three times. Hill maintains a part-time legal practice to stay in touch with the practice of law.
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Moderator: Anthony Carroll, AARP Iowa lobbyist, attorney, and Associate State Director for Advocacy

Carroll has served Iowa AARP since October 2005. Before joining AARP, he was the Voter Outreach Coordinator and State Legislative Liaison for the Iowa Secretary of State’s office and has practiced health and labor law.

Continuing education credit is available for nurses and other healthcare professionals who attend this event. It is approved by Iowa Board of Nursing Provider #302, HCI Care Services for 0.15 CEUs or 1.5 contact hours of continuing education.

Embrace Aging: Economic Security

DAVID STREGE16e2cd1

Managing Partner, Syverson & Strege Company

Tuesday, May 24, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University
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 A graduate of Drake University, Strege is an award-winning financial planning professional who exemplifies excellence and high standards in the field of financial planning and community service.
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Moderator: Mark Teigland, President and CEO, Calvin Community

Teigland’s healthcare management career began in 1987. He has been with Calvin Community since 2008 and has served as President and CEO since 2013. Mark is a licensed nursing home administrator, received his Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University, and his Law Degree from Drake University.

Video of the Lecture

Continuing education credit is available for nurses and other healthcare professionals who attend this event. It is approved by Iowa Board of Nursing Provider #302, HCI Care Services for 0.15 CEUs or 1.5 contact hours of continuing education.

The Ethical Engagement With the Medicalization of Death in the Catholic Tradition

Gerard Magillmagill%20photo
Vernon F. Gallagher Chair and Professor of Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne University
Thursday, May 5, 7:00 p.m.
Reading Room, Cowles Library
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To engage the medicalization of death & dying ethically, the Catholic Sacramental tradition provides the context for its Natural Law approach. This recognizes both dignity and futility in the dying process and uses double effect reasoning to resolve medicalization-related dilemmas. The presentation discusses a variety of scenarios in end-of-life care including PVS patients, maternal-fetal conflicts, and terminal sedation in palliative care (as a response to assisted suicide).

In 2007 Professor Gerard Magill was appointed as the the Vernon F. Gallagher Chair for the Integration of Science, Theology, Philosophy, and Law at Duquesne University. He is a tenured Professor in Duquesne University’s Center for Healthcare Ethics where he mentors students in its Master’s and Doctoral programs.

Video of the presentation

Embrace Aging: Managing Chronic Diseases

Yogesh ShahDr.%20Y.%20Shah%202013

Geriatric Specialist, Des Moines University

Tuesday, April 26, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University
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Dr. Shah is a triple board-certified in family medicine and specializes in geriatrics, hospice, and palliative medicine. His primary interest is in early detection of memory problems and supporting families and patients with different forms and at different stages of dementias.
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Moderator: Connie Eastman, AARP Iowa Community Outreach Associate State Director
Connie coordinates AARP’s statewide community serve, advocacy, and educational activities and programs.

Continuing education credit is available for nurses and other healthcare professionals who attend this event. It is approved by Iowa Board of Nursing Provider #302, HCI Care Services for 0.15 CEUs or 1.5 contact hours of continuing education.

Giving Back: Above + Beyond Cancer's 2015 Trip to Nepal

Member of Above + Beyond Cancer’s 2015 mission trip to Kathmanduabc2
Dr. Richard Deming and Jake DeHaai
Thursday, March 24, 7:00 p.m.
Cowles Reading Room, Cowles Library, Drake University
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On September 9, 2015, 23 cancer survivors and caregivers travelled to Kathmandu, Nepal for a week-long medical mission trip as part of the Above + Beyond Cancer Foundation. While at Baktapur Cancer Hospital, they donated medical supplies, built a garden for patients, and shared stories of cancer journeys and surviorship with patients and doctors. During this lecture, Dr. Richard Deming and Jake DeHaai will talk about their experiences on the trip.

Dr. Richard Deming is medical director of Mercy Cancer Center in Des Moines. He is the founder and chairman of the Above + Beyond Cancer Foundation and the Dr. Richard Deming Foundation.

Jake DeHaai is from West Des Moines, Iowa and is a senior at Iowa State studying Political Science, International Relations, and Economics. He was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer at the age of 10.

To listen to the audio:

Eternal Life, Death, and Dying in Jainism

Christopher ChappleChris Chapple Photo

Navin and Pratima Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology, Loyola Marymount University

Thursday, March 3, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University
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The Jain tradition has observed a practice known as Sallekhana or Santhara, through which one willingly foregoes food and hydration toward the end of one’s life in order to pass peacefully into a new life. Chapple will give details about the process and the history of Sallekhana.  He will also explore the correlations of this fast unto death with the hospice and “right to die” movements in contemporary America.
Chapple is a specialist in the religions of India; he has published twenty books on aspects of Yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, as well as religion and ecology.  He serves on the advisory boards of the Ahimsa Center, the Forum on Religion and Ecology, and the International School for Jain Studies.

Embrace Aging: Supporting Our Parents

Joel Olah
Executive Director, Aging Resources of Central Iowa13282

Moderator: Maryalice Larson
AARP Iowa Executive Council

Tuesday, February 23, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University
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Dr. Olah has been with Aging Resources of Central Iowa for 21 years, managing a comprehensive home and community-based service delivery system for more than 125,000 older adults in central Iowa.

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Larson has a strong background in health services management, and hold a Master of Arts in Mental Health Nursing from the University of Iowa.

Video of the Lecture

Continuing education credit is available for nurses and other healthcare professionals who attend this event. It is approved by Iowa Board of Nursing Provider #302, HCI Care Services for 0.15 CEUs or 1.5 contact hours of continuing education.