Extremism and Bioethics: Exploring the Moral Dimensions of Abortion, Vaccination and Public Health



Cinema Arts Centre - Cinema 1 Sat, Nov 5 2:30 PM


Extremism: Confronting Hate Without Fear

Extremism and Bioethics: Exploring the Moral Dimensions of Abortion, Vaccination and Public Health

Film screening of Personhood and discussion with guest speakers exploring the growing criminalization and policing of pregnant people in America

Saturday, November 5th at 2:30 PM - Click Here to Purchase a Full Weekend Package!

Members & Students (w/ID) $15 | Public $22 | Young Film Fan Members $10


  • Jacob M. Appel, MD, JD, MPH, author, poet, bioethicist, physician, lawyer and social critic, Director of Ethics Education in Psychiatry and Associate Director of the Academy for Medicine and the Humanities at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Health System
  • Jo Ardinger, director of the documentary film 'Personhood'


Personhood tells a different reproductive rights story - one that ripples far beyond the right to choose and into the lives of every pregnant person in America. Like a moment from the chilling "Handmaid's Tale," Tammy Loertscher's fetus was given an attorney, while the courts denied Tammy her constitutional rights. In this timely documentary, we see her sent to jail, and then forced to challenge a Wisconsin law that eroded her privacy, her right to due process, and her body sovereignty. Through her story, Personhood reframes the abortion debate to encompass the growing system of laws that criminalize and police pregnant women. At the intersection of the erosion of women's rights, the war on drugs, and mass incarceration, Tammy's experience reveals the dangerous consequences of these little-known laws for American women and families. (US, 2019, 80min., English | Dir. Jo Ardinger)

Film poster for PERSONHOOD (2019)

Jo Ardinger is an award-winning director, editor and story consultant working on both documentary and narrative films. Her feature documentary debut, PERSONHOOD – Policing Pregnant Women in America premiered at DOC NYC in 2019 and won the American Bar Association’s 2020 Silver Gavel Award for Documentaries. She is currently editing the feature documentary Clearwater, about the special relationship of Pacific Northwest tribal people to the Salish Sea. Ardinger is also an instructor at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she teaches digital storytelling in the realm of science.

Jacob M. Appel is currently Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, where he is Director of Ethics Education in Psychiatry, Medical Director of the Mental Health Clinic at the East Harlem Health Outreach Program and Assistant Director of the Academy for Medicine and the Humanities. Jacob is also the author of five literary novels, ten short story collections, an essay collection, a cozy mystery, a thriller, a volume of poems and a compendium of dilemmas in medical ethics. Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown, an M.S. in bioethics from Albany Medical College, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia, an M.D. from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. from N.Y.U. and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He also publishes in the field of bioethics and contributes regularly to such publications as the Journal of Clinical Ethics, Hastings Center Report and Bulletin of the History of Medicine.  His essays on the nexus of law and medicine have appeared in The New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Detroit Free Press, and many regional newspapers.