In 1981, under the auspices of the MacLean Center, Mark Siegler and Richard Epstein organized a yearlong interdisciplinary seminar series on Bad Outcomes after Medical Intervention. The success of that initial seminar program demonstrated that there was great interest at the University of Chicago in creating a sustainable interdisciplinary forum to discuss health-related subjects with colleagues from across campus. Since 1981, the MacLean Center has sponsored an annual seminar series that has examined the ethical aspects of one key health related issue each year. Previous topics have included: Organ Transplantation, Pediatric Ethics, End-of-Life Care, Global Health, Health Care Disparities, Medical Professionalism, Confidentiality, Pharmaceutical Innovation and Regulation, and Neuroethics. The topic in 2016-2017 is Reproductive Ethics.
Each November, since 1989, The MacLean Center had hosted the Dorothy J. MacLean Fellows Conference on topics related to clinical medical ethics. This conference spans two days and draws speakers and audiences from all over the world.