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Special Master of Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, Kenneth Feinberg, is Keynote Speaker at Hopkins Bioethics Lecture

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Media Contact: David March
410-955-1534 or dmarch1@jhmi.edu
October 18, 2004

Special Master of Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, Kenneth Feinberg, is Keynote Speaker at Hopkins Bioethics Lecture
 
The Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute will host the fourth biannual Robert H. Levi Lecture in Bioethics and Public Policy at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2004, in Room 110, Hodson Hall, on the Homewood Campus of The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles St., Baltimore, Md.  Admission is free. 

This year’s keynote speaker is Kenneth R. Feinberg, Special Master of the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund.  Feinberg will discuss his experiences leading the fund, which offered an alternative to litigation to victims of the attacks and their surviving family members, managed all claims brought by the victims and their families, and disseminated all public information about the fund.  He will explain his duties within the claims process and share stories about his interaction with relatives and friends of victims of the attack, including survivors who were injured.  Feinberg will focus on the practical, ethical and emotional difficulties of running this “deceptively simple, but hideously complex” program:

• Should families of high-salary decedents receive more money than families of low-salary decedents and, if so, how much more?
• Should families of people who died on September 11 be treated differently from families of people  who died during other attacks, such as the Oklahoma City bombing?
• If another similar attack happens, should Congress enact a similar fund?

Feinberg also will explore several legal issues that arose from the way in which the fund was developed and executed.

The Robert H. Levi Lecture in Bioethics and Public Policy was established in 1997 in honor of the late Robert H. Levi, an alumnus and trustee of both The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital.  The program is designed to inspire intensive moral discussion about critical issues in social policy and medicine.

For more information or to interview Feinberg or talk to other bioethicists, please contact David March at 410-955-1534, or dmarch1@jhmi.edu.

 

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