Humanities Institute

Controversy & Conversation Film Screening: "The Bleeding Edge"

Thu, December 5, 2019 | Terrazas Branch, Austin Public Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78702

6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Controversy & Conversation Film Screening:

America has the most technologically advanced health care system in the world, yet, according to The Bleeding Edge, preventable medical harm has become one of the leading causes of death, and the overwhelming majority of high-risk implanted devices never require a single clinical trial.

In this hard-hitting 2018 film, Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War, The Hunting Ground) turn their sights on the $400 billion medical device industry, examining lax regulations, corporate cover-ups, and profit driven incentives that put patients at risk. Weaving emotionally powerful stories of people whose lives have been irrevocably harmed, the film asks: how are technologies designed to save lives actually harming us?

The Bleeding Edge won the 2018 George Polk Award for Medical Reporting.

Watch the trailer.

The screening will begin at 6:30 PM, to be followed by a dialogue led by Lisa McGiffert, Co-Founder of the Patient Safety Action Network. Ms. McGiffert was named one of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.” She has spent her career, and now her retirement, fighting for patient safety. She was previously the Director of Consumer Union’s Safe Patient Project, advocating on an array of patient safety issues, including preventing medical errors and improving the safety of medical care and devices. Prior to her work with the Consumer Union, McGiffert analyzed policy and legislation for the Health and Human Services Committee for the Texas State Legislature. One of her biggest priorities was the development and implementation of a state health and human services policy.

McGiffert is a relentless advocate who has helped push forward patient safety laws across the country. In 2003 she started a campaign to encourage states to require hospitals to report hospital infections. Thirty states have since adopted the policy, and now Medicare, the country’s largest insurer, has adopted infection rate disclosure legislation as well.

McGiffert is passionate about patient safety and incorporating patient’s voices into the decision-making and approval processes. She advocates to have patients present at FDA committees and hearings, as this promotes effective patient safety measures. Now that McGiffert is retired, she is heavily involved with the leadership committee of the Patient Safety Action Network (PSAN), a national coalition of patient advocates focused on promoting transparency and accountability as a vehicle to safer healthcare. 

Controversy & Conversation is a collaboration between the Humanities Institute's Difficult Dialogues Program and the Austin Public Library. Light refreshments will be provided.


Sponsored by: The Humanities Institute and the Austin Public Library

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