News Center

CSLR Receives Funding for Holocaust, Genocide and Contemporary Bioethics Initiative
By CSLR | Emory Law | Nov 11, 2021 8:11:00 AM

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University has received seed money to create the Holocaust, Genocide and Contemporary Bioethics Initiative. The donation, given by Dr. William S. Silvers, M.D., who completed his internship and residency at Grady Memorial Hospital, an Emory School of Medicine affiliated hospital, will be used to deliver an annual event on or around International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The annual event will be followed by a series of public-facing scholarship on themes related to the Holocaust, genocide and contemporary bioethics to be broadcast through the Center for the Study of Law and Religion’s Canopy Forum digital publication and social media channels.

The initiative enhances CSLR’s focus on issues of ethics, human rights, and social justice in healthcare and public health and will serve as an impetus for interdisciplinary scholarship, research, teaching, and community outreach to improve the lives of individuals and increase health equity around the world.

“Ethical leadership includes learning and teaching from past tragedies and shining spotlights on the horrors of Nazi scientific experiments conducted against Jews and other religious and cultural minorities,” says John Witte Jr., Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, Alonzo L. McDonald Distinguished Professor, and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion. “We are grateful for this generous gift to help ensure that we never forget these tragedies and have the opportunity to learn to chart better ways to protect and promote the lives of all God’s children, particularly the most vulnerable.”

Dr. Silvers states, “Being a physician and son of Holocaust survivors, I am hoping to help commemorate and learn from medicine’s role in the Holocaust, so we may transmit these lessons to present and future generations of healthcare and legal professionals.  We must keep the sanctity of our responsibility to the human being, the patient, first, despite competing interests and loyalties, so we may not repeat mistakes of the past.” 

Dr. Stacy Gallin will join CSLR as a senior fellow to help drive the initiative. Dr. Gallin is the founder and Director of the Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Ethics and the Holocaust. She earned her doctoral degree in Medical Humanities from Drew University and is an international lecturer on bioethics and the Holocaust and human subject research ethics.


Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University says, “I welcome the creation of an initiative that will study the intersection between medicine and the Holocaust and other genocides, a critically important topic for historians, lawyers, and doctors. This will be a tremendous addition to Emory.”

David Blumenthal, Jay and Leslie Cohen Professor of Judaic Studies at Emory University, adds, “In a world of rising racial and antisemitic tensions at home and abroad, the creation of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Bioethics Initiative with its annual event centering on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an important step. Scholars, doctors, lawyers, and others need a forum to air their fears and proposals. The Center for the Study of Religion’s Canopy Forum is the perfect platform for such an exchange.”

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University School of Law was founded in 1982 to produce and promote path-breaking scholarship, teaching, and public programs on the interaction of law and religion around the world.