Northfield Public Library to host nationally recognized pediatrician and bioethicist Dr. John Lantos

September 30, 2016

Nationally recognized pediatrician and bioethicist Dr. John Lantos will speak Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Northfield Public Library. In a presentation entitled, “Who’s Afraid of Big Bad Genomics?,” Lantos will discuss the promise and perils of genomics.

Dr. Lantos explains,

In the last five years, technology has changed the way that we think about and do genetic testing. We used to test people to see if they had a specific genetic disease (for example, Huntington’s). Today, we can look at someone’s entire genetic profile and discover all kinds of potential risk factors for disease. This then raises new and complex questions about how to interpret and communicate results. Which parts of your genetic make-up matter for figuring out how at risk you are? What should your doctor do if s/he finds you’re at risk for something that you didn’t even know about?

Lantos is a leading expert in the field of medical ethics and professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and Director of the Children’s Mercy Bioethics Center at Children’s Mercy Hospital. His research fields are bioethics, doctor–patient communication, research ethics, end-of-life care, and religion and medicine, and especially the ethics of clinical trials.

He is a former President of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities and of the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, and is an advisor to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Lantos has published over 250 journal papers and book chapters and several books on bioethics including, “Preterm Babies, Fetal Patients, and Childbearing Choices;” “The Last Physician: Walker Percy and the Moral Life of Medicine;” “Neonatal Bioethics: The Moral Challenges of Medical Innovation” (about the Bodyworks exhibits); “Do We Still Need Doctors? (Reflective Bioethics);” and “The Lazarus Case: Life-and-Death Issues in Neonatal Intensive Care.”

Lantos has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, National Public Radio, and Nightline. His appearance in Northfield is part of an Andrew W. Mellon “Broadening The Bridge” collaborative grant between Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges. In addition to speaking at the Northfield Public Library, Lantos will deliver a lecture at on Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. in the Viking Theater at St. Olaf College entitled, “What we talk about when we talk about ethics: discussions about life and death on the NICU.”

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, email Carleton College associate professor of philosophy Daniel Groll at