***NOTE: This session will take place at Pioneer Books at 289 Van Brunt St.***

Medical ethicist Dr. Ellen Meltzer will join us for May’s Roundtable as we look towards the future of death. How do we imagine death and dying in the future? What will happen if, indeed, death disappears within our lifetimes? We will be examining death from a medical perspective and seeking to understand current  and emergent systems that will impact the future of death.

About this roundtable series:

The Good Death roundtable is a forum that seeks to foster a better relationship with our mortality. Through the exploration of a history of death rituals, an examination of what death looks like presently, and a speculation on our own death and cultural attitudes toward death in the future, we will contemplate death in an effort of preparedness and understanding.

Ellen C. Meltzer, MD, MSc, FACP is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, Division of Medical Ethics, and an Attending Physician and Clinical Ethicist at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. In addition to maintaining an active Internal Medicine practice, Dr. Meltzer provides Clinical Ethics consultation, teaches medical ethics, and is Chair of Ethics Committee for the New York State Chapter of the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Meltzer recognizes the importance of engaging surrogates (individuals, frequently family members or close friends called upon to make medical decisions for adult patients who lack capacity) to improve the experience of surrogate decision makers. With the support of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the Caregiver Insights Foundation, the Division of Medical Ethics, and Weill Cornell Medicine, she and collaborators developed a novel, experiential-based workshop incorporating actors, simulated practice encounters, and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) to promote empathy and improve the surrogate experience.

Dr. Meltzer received her AB in Spanish from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. She was a Resident in Internal Medicine, a Resident in Preventive Medicine, and a Fellow in General Internal Medicine, at Boston University Medical Center, where she was honored with the R. Knight Steel Award in Geriatric Medicine.

Bethany Tabor is a classically trained ballet dancer-turned-writer and researcher who is persistently exploring themes of death and dying in the realm of performance art. She recently earned her Master’s degree in Performance Studies from New York University where she examined the politics of decomposition as it relates to reenactment and reperformance. She is currently the Technology Programs Manager at Pioneer Works.

Toccarra Thomas is a Brooklyn-based video​ and performance​ artist and arts programmer. ​She received ​a B.A. in Anthropology and Film Studies​ from Smith College and ​a M.A. in Media Studies at ​The ​New School. A recipient of the Smithsonian Research Training Fellowship (2003) and the Mellon Mays undergraduate Fellowship (2004-2006), ​she has researched and worked in examining cultural arts practices in various parts of the world, including South Africa.​ She co-founded and directed the first iteration of The Unmentionables Film Festival​ (2015) at Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem.