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Whistleblower who exposed health risks of children detained at U.S. border to speak in Ann Arbor

Dr. Pamela K. McPherson to deliver Nov. 13 lecture at University of Michigan

The Michigan Medicine Department of Psychiatry will be hosting a lecture by Dr. Pamela K. McPherson titled "Medical Ethics on the Border: A Look at Immigration Detention" on Nov. 13.

The event marks the 24th Annual Waggoner Lecture on Ethics and Values in Medicine and will take place at University Hospital's Ford Auditorium from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

McPherson first appeared in global headlines when she and colleague Dr. Scott A. Allen exposed the serious health risks they witnessed while observing children separated from their families and detained on the southern U.S. border in 2018. CNN published their story in May.

CNN: These doctors risked their careers to expose the dangers children face in immigrant family detention

"There were rumblings that family detention was going to be increased greatly," McPherson told CNN at the time. "Just the idea that things that we had seen would be magnified and multiplied called us to action."

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McPherson is a psychiatrist and is triple-boarded in general, forensic and child and adolescent psychiatry. She works with the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Shreveport Behavioral Health Clinic and is a gratis assistant professor at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport.

Her research is focused on the mental health of "justice-involved youth" and the conditions of youths in juvenile confinement. 

"We are delighted to welcome Dr. McPherson to our campus in November for this esteemed lectureship," Debra A. Pinals, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry and director of the Program in Psychiatry, Law and Ethics at U-M and chair of the Waggoner Lectureship Committee, said in a statement. "Dr. McPherson has incredible insight into the conditions of immigrants entering the United States. She could not be better suited to address our campus for this lecture devoted to medical ethics and values in medicine."

The event is free and open to the public.

Ford Auditorium is located at University of Michigan Hospital at 1500 E Medical Center Drive. For parking information, click here.

About the Raymond W. Waggoner Lectureship on Ethics and Values in Medicine
The University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry established the Raymond W. Waggoner Lectureship on Ethics and Values in Medicine in 1996. This lectureship was created in honor of the late Dr. Waggoner, emeritus professor and past chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, who throughout his career and to all who knew him, exemplified the highest standards of integrity and ethics.

The lectureship is an annual event to recognize Dr. Waggoner's enormous contributions to the Michigan Medicine medical center and to the profession, and to promulgate his interest in medical ethics.

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About the Author:

Meredith Bruckner

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.