Samuel X Radbill Lecture: Do Children Have a Right to Be Healthy? A Historical Perspective

Jeffrey P. Brosco

College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 6:00 pm EST

Online Event

Register for this event here.

On average, children in the U.S. are less healthy than children in Western Europe and other nations. Every society pledges to support the growth and development of children, so why are there differences in outcomes? Some have argued that it is a matter of rights—the U.S. is the only country in the world not to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a document largely drafted by U.S. representatives. In fact, there are historical differences among nations that partly account for poorer outcomes of children in the U.S., and there is even some evidence that arguments regarding the “rights” of children have made things worse. Regardless of “rights language,” US society (like our global neighbors) is committed to child welfare, so the key question remains: how can our commitment to children be translated into industry and communities being respectful neighbors? This presentation concludes with a brief answer by imagining the future of value-based care as a way to improve child health at a population level.
Dr. Brosco completed an M.D. and a Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as chief resident after training in pediatrics at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami FL, and he is board-certified in Pediatrics and in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. He continues to teach and practice medicine at the University of Miami; his research focuses on ethics and health policy. With Diane Paul, he is the author The PKU Paradox: A Short History of a Genetic Disease (Johns Hopkins Press, 2013). Dr. Brosco has also served in some capacity in Florida state government for the last 20 years, including as Deputy Secretary of Health, Children’s Medical Services. He is currently Florida’s Title V Director for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs. Dr. Brosco is active in state and national health policy groups, including the Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (Department of Health and Human Services) and the National Workgroup on Standards for Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs/National Academy for State Health Policy).
Samuel X Radbill, MD (1901 - 1987) was a pediatrician, bibliophile and medical historian whose life and practice centered in Philadelphia. A graduate of South Philadelphia High School and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he interned at Lancaster General Hospital before his residency at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition to practice out of his home, he was on the pediatric staff at Philadelphia General Hospital and helped found and run free, local pediatric clinics in the city. When elected a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1943, he was already an avid collector of bookplates and medical texts, promoting the study of medical history through exhibits and activities with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the American Association for the History of Medicine. Dr. Radbill participated actively in the College’s Section on Medical History, serving at different times as Clerk and as Chair. He was a member of the Council and Bicentennial Committee and a longtime member of the Library Committee, concerned with the direction of Library development. His medical history and bookplate collections were later donated to the College, and the Radbill Lectureship was established to honor his memory and enthusiastic advocacy for medical history.
The event is co-sponsored by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, The Section on Medical History, The Section on Public Health & Preventive Medicine, and the Samuel X Radbill Endowment.
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The College of Physicians of Philadelphia reserves the right to record the virtual experience for marketing or promotional use.