Connect: Thinker Patrick Smith

Connect: Thinker Patrick Smith

Connect: Thinker Patrick Smith 2560 2560 THINKER THURSDAYS™

A LeadBoston Alum’s Insights on Bioethics & Family Economics

Rev. Dr. Patrick T. Smith and I traded classmate chuckles and insights on the economics of bioethics.

An August Thinker Thursday™ lunch took place, deep in the Adirondacks in 2018. Happily, my Lead Boston classmate (2017) is also a friend and a client (working on a TED-style Economic Wisdom Project Talk). So Dr. Smith and I relished carving out some extra time together, lakeside.

Patrick was vacationing with his family, presenting all week at CAMP OF THE WOODS — a throwback family camp with a circa 1950 vibe. His topic was end-of-life care and decisions. And as a theologian and bioethicist with ties to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Harvard Medical School, he naturally had some deep-than-usual insights to share.

Happily, our waterfront walks and lunch conversations proved great prep for me, as we began preparing for a future TED-style talk. What I love about the man is that he can take deep and complex topics and easily bring them to my “general audience” level, with humility and a smile. (That’s a rare gift.) 

It was serendipitous timing. Patrick and family are relocating, from the northeast, down south. So had a chance not only to spend a week with him at camp, but also to finally meet his family for they departed North Carolina. Actually, within days of camp ending, Patrick and his family packed their household into a moving van and headed to Duke Divinity School, for a new chapter of his distinguished career. And by “distinguished,” I mean to use that word. A short blurb from his latest biography follows: 

Along with his appointment at the Duke Divinity School, Professor Smith is associate faculty with the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. He has specific academic interests in the areas of bioethics, social ethics, Black Church studies, and philosophical theology.

He was named a 2016-2017 Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology. His work and service in bioethics and social ethics has spanned academic, professional, community, and ecclesial spaces. His first book, Valuing Human Life at the End of Life: Theological Ethics and Hospice Palliative Care, is approaching publication.

And I’ve been blessed to be chewing on some of that content in draft form. 

Yep. He’s a “Thinker” on topics ranging from racial justice to cultural norms and trends… (Heck, he was just awarded the 2019 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence from the National Center for Bioethics and Culture for demonstrating exemplary achievement in the field of bioethics.) Suffice it to say, I’m grateful to continue learning from and with him. Now to the reading list Dr. Smith tossed my way!

Read. Connect. Reflect.