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History of Medicine & Bioethics Lecture: The Agony of Hope: David Vetter, the Boy in the Bubble
Start Date: 10/29/2015Start Time: 4:00 PM
End Date: 10/29/2015End Time: 5:00 PM

Event Description:

Speaker: Dr. James H. Jones, Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, University of Arkansas

Topic: The Agony of Hope: David Vetter, the Boy in the Bubble

Dr. Jones will deliver a case study in pediatric medical ethics by discussing the tragic life of David Vetter (1971-1984), the child who was known to the world as the "Bubble Boy." David was born with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), a rare genetic disease that leaves infants unable to fight infections because their bodies cannot produce T cells and B cells. Since they do not have functioning immune systems, these children routinely die from infections during the first year of life. Hoping to protect David from germs, the physicians who cared for David at the Children's Hospital at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, TX, decided to place him at birth in a germ free isolator. His doctors believed they could cure his disease if they could keep him germ free, and they were confident that he would have to remain in isolation no longer than several months, at most a year. Instead, all their efforts to cure David failed, and he was forced to live in the isolator for more than 12 years, all but the last few weeks of his life. Professor Jones will offer a detailed discussion of David's life, with special emphasis on the ethical issues that are raised by his medical care.
Location Information:
East Campus - Health Sciences Tower  (View Map)
Nicolls Road and Health Sciences Drive Intersection
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794
Phone: (631) 444-4000
Room: Level 4, Atkins Learning Center
Contact Information:
Email: michael.ortega@stonybrook.edu

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