Do No Harm: Black Bodies and Bioethics Online Presentation Takes Place April 26


DALLAS (SMU) – The public is invited to an online program, “Do No Harm: Black Bodies and Bioethics,” from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, April 26. The event is sponsored by Perkins School of Theology, the Robinson Arts Fund at the Perkins School of Theology, and the Perkins African American Fine Arts and Bioethics Project.

The program’s centerpiece will be “Do No Harm,” a filmed play portraying the story of three enslaved Black women – Lucy, Anarcha, and Betsey – who were the subjects of needlessly horrific medical and surgical experiments by Dr. James Marion Sims (1813 – 1883.) Sims, a white male surgeon, is still honored today in the medical community as “the father of modern gynecology.”

An introductory lecture by Evelyn L. Parker, Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology at Perkins School of Theology, will open the program. After the showing of “Do No Harm,” a worship service will follow, with music and liturgy by Garth Kasimu Baker-Fletcher. The program will conclude with a lecture on "Bioethics, including ‘Black Bioethics’” by Theodore Walker Jr., Associate Professor of Ethics and Society at Perkins.

“The program affirms that Black lives matter in medicine and in bioethics,” said Walker. “Books in medical schools and statues continue to celebrate Sims while ignoring the Black lives of Lucy, Anarcha, and Betsey.”

“Do No Harm” was written by Anyika McMillan-Herod and premiered in January 2021 at Soul Rep Theatre in Dallas. McMillan-Herod and Vickie Washington co-directed the film performance, with cinematography by Tonya Holloway and Sonny Jefferson. The world premiere was originally commissioned by Parker and the Association of Practical Theology. View the official trailer for Soul Rep world premiere of Do No Harm on YouTube at

To join the April 26 event, visit this link: (Note:  the link will go live at 1 p.m. Central.)