Since 1991, this annual conference has focused on a bioethics theme or pressing issue. Past topics have included ethical issues related to women’s health, obesity, organ transplantation, use of electronic medical records, research ethics, medical mistakes, conflicts of interest, long-term care, different faith traditions, ethics consultation, and the end of life.
The Ira R. Messer Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation supports a national or international conference speaker. The lectureship is endowed by Mr. Messer’s family. Born in 1903, Mr. Messer immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1911. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1927 with a degree in chemistry, despite having previously dropped out of high school to support his family. The Messer Lecture is accompanied by other plenary lectures and concurrent sessions with local and national faculty drawn from a range of clinical and academic disciplines. Continuing legal and medical education credit may be obtained for attending the conference.