2024 Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics

Monday, July 29 -Wednesday, July 31 (Online 8am-3pm Pacific time)

The Department of Bioethics and Humanities invites you to the 36th annual Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics. We will host the conference online this year with synchronous and asynchronous material. 

The annual Summer Seminar is an intensive, interactive introduction to the 'four-box method' of analysis of ethical problems in clinical ethics, developed by Jonsen, Siegler, and Winslade in their book Clinical Ethics. The Seminar also addresses elements of the Core Competencies in Health Care Ethics Consultation and can help attendees prepare for the healthcare ethics consultation certification exam.  

Click here to register now!


    Target Audience

    Summer Seminar is directed to physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, attorneys, teachers, surgeons, anesthesiologists, surgical nurses, physician assistants, social workers, hospital administrators, and other professionals involved in the care of patients or the education of providers.

    Summer Seminar Course Descriptions and Objectives


    Lectures are designed to familiarize participants with basic definitions and arguments in major topics of clinical ethics. The course aims to provide participants with skills and information to enable them to make competent ethical decisions in clinical situations and to assist others in doing so. Hence, careful attention is paid to methods of case analysis and to discussion of cases. Summer Seminar has always attracted a mix of participants that resembles the actual participants in clinical care, making it possible to share different, but complementary views.


    • Identify fundamental concepts and principles for the understanding of ethical issues in clinical care
    • Implement a method for analyzing ethical cases in clinical health care
    • Employ skills in decision-making for clinical cases that present ethical problems
    • Discuss current issues and cases in health care ethics


    Check out our draft agenda (subject to change prior to event) here.

    Fees, Registration and CME Accreditation

    Fees & Registration

    The cost of this year's three-day online course is $315. Fees are due at the time of registration. 

    • Groups of 20 or more are eligible for a 5% discount. Use the code '5OFF20' at checkout to apply.
    • You may be eligible for a refund with advanced notice if you cannot attend the event after registering. See registration page for more details.

    Register ahead of time to ensure access to course materials.

    CME Accreditation

    The University of Washington School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

    The University of Washington School of Medicine designates this other* activity for a maximum of 21.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

    *Note: in order to receive the maximum amount of credit, participation is required in the three day live webinar for 18 hours, plus up to 3.25 hours of asynchronous content.


    More information on how to claim CME credits will be provided to registered participants. 

    Scholarship Opportunities

    The Department of Bioethics & Humanities at the University of Washington School of Medicine is proud to offer two scholarships to the 36th Annual Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics.  One scholarship is in honor of Dr. Al Jonsen, the founder of Summer Seminar, and one is in honor of Dr. Tom McCormick, the Co-Chair for almost two decades.  These scholarships will be awarded to two professionals who would like to attend the Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics virtual conference, but are not able to because of financial hardship or other constraints. 


    The scholarship will cover the cost of the $315 Summer Seminar registration fee. Please apply by filling out this online application form
    The application deadline is June 5, 2024 and we will notify recipients by June 19, 2024.

    Special Services

    The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance. Disability Services Office:

    • 206.543.6450/Voice
    • 206.543.6452/TTY
    • 206.685.7264/Fax
    • e-mail: dso@uw.edu

    If you’d like to request that the conference provide any accommodation, please email bhinfo@uw.edu.

    Surgical Ethics Conference

    The Surgical Ethics Conference 

    Thursday, August 1-Friday, August 2, 2024

    Surgical Ethics Conference 

    The Department of Surgery is offering the seventh annual Surgical Ethics Conference.  This hybrid conference employs the methods of ethical analysis taught in the Summer Seminar to analyze topics of special interest to surgeons, surgical residents & fellows, anesthesiologists, surgical nurses, physician assistants, social workers, and hospital administrators.  The conference additionally introduces participants to skills and information sufficient to enable them to make competent ethical decisions in clinical situations. The conference format incorporates live and asynchronous content tailored to surgical specialties. The conference introduces ethical principles and concepts, lectures on surgical ethics topics, and offers multi-disciplinary small group discussions designed to allow participants to better understand the ethical debates that bear upon each topic. 


    2024 Summer Seminar Faculty 

    Denise Dudzinski, PhD, HEC-C, Course Director; Professor (Joint), Bioethics & Humanities and Pediatrics, UW School of Medicine; Chief, UW Medicine Ethics Consultation Service


    Douglas Diekema, MD, MPH, Professor, UW Pediatrics, Director of Education, Treuman Katz Pediatric Bioethics Center


    Ben Wilfond, MD, Professor, Pediatrics, UW School of Medicine; Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics


    Maya Scott, MSW, LICSW, Director, Center for Diversity & Health Equity, Seattle Children's


    Holly Vo, MD, MPH, MSc, MA. Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics


    Patricia Kuszler, MD, JD, Charles I. Stone Professor of Law, UW School of Law


    James Kirkpatrick, MD, Professor, Cardiology and Bioethics & Humanities (Joint), Chair UWMC-Montlake Ethics Committee, UW School of Medicine


    Georgina Campelia, PhD, HEC-C Associate Professor, Bioethics & Humanities, UW School of Medicine


    Tom Gallager, MD, Professor, General Internal Medicine, Bioethics & Humanities, UW School of Medicine


    Katie Schlenker, DO, Associate Medical Director, Palliative Care, UWMC-Montlake, Clinical Associate Professor, General Internal Medicine


    Laura Webster, D.Be, RN, HEC-C, Pacific Northwest Division Vice President of Ethics, CommonSpirit Health


    Jamie Shirley, PhD RN, Associate Director, Teaching Professor, UW Bothell, UW Medicine Ethics Consultation Service


    Mark Tonelli, MD, MA, Professor, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, UW School of Medicine


    Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, UW School of Medicine


    Tracy Brazg, PhD, MSW, MPH, Director; University of Washington Health Sciences Interprofessional Education; Ethics Consultant, UWMC


    Hannah Johanson, RN, BSN, PCCN, CCRN, HEC-C, Clinical Ethics Consultant and Intensive Care Nurse, UWMC-Northwest


    Nancy Jecker, PhD, Professor, Bioethics & Humanities, UW School of Medicine


    Doug Opel, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Bioethics & Palliative Care, UW School of Medicine