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At the End of Life: Agency, Role and Responsibilities of the Physician/Advanced Practitioner conference scheduled to be held September 13-14, 2019, at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. Click here for brochure with more information: course details, agenda, CME info, faculty listing and to register. 

New Articles of interest:

We are excited to share links to new publications authored by our faculty:

White Privilege & Playing it Safe. boethics.net, BLOG, Sun apr 15, http://www.bioethics.net/?p=66014
Denise Dudzinski,
Professor and Chair.

UW Medicine Postscript | Blog
April 16, 2018
Commentary: On white privilege and playing it safe https://newsroom.uw.edu/postscript/commentary-white-privilege-and-playing-it-safe
The UW's chair of bioethics and humanities reflects on her role in confronting institutional racism. 

Ethical Guidance for Selecting Clinical Trials to Receive Limited Space in an Immunotherapy Production Facility. The American Journal of Bioethics, Vol 18, 2018, Issue 4, 58-67. 05 Apr 2018. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15265161.2018.1444817
Nancy S. Jecker
, Professor, Aaron G. Wightman, MA Bioethics Alum, Abby R. Rosenberg, MA Bioethics Alum, and Douglas S. Diekema, Adjunct Professor

Manzano Standing in Solidarity image

Image designed by UW student Megan Manzano, used with permission

The divisive and exclusionary tenor of the presidential campaign has, for some, sanctioned hateful rhetoric, discrimination, and violence.  These acts violate human rights as well as our core commitments to equality, inclusion, and diversity.  They have no place in our society, much less our campus community. 

While the election highlighted divisions among us, it also strengthened our resolve to treat one another with respect and kindness. The Department of Bioethics & Humanities has faith in the kindness and good will of our students and colleagues.   In bioethics and the humanities more broadly, we routinely invite students, clinicians, and researchers to share their religious, political, professional and cultural values; to articulate reasons for the positions they hold; and to understand and describe the perspectives of those with whom they disagree.  This engages not only critical thinking, but compassion. 

In light of recent events, many individuals on campus have expressed concern that they are not welcome because of race, gender, religion, intellectual and physical capabilities, immigration status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  In response, the Department of Bioethics and Humanities would like to send a strong message. Everyone is invited and welcomed in our Department, classrooms, and community. The outcome of the election also underscores the needs of those who have felt marginalized in other ways – due to diminishing job opportunities and economic insecurity.  You are also welcome in our Department, classrooms and community.  We are all strengthened by the full participation of people from many different backgrounds, cultures, and belief systems. 

President Ana Mari Cauce & Dr. Jerry Baldasty said it best: “Our University is unwavering in its resolve to create an inclusive, diverse and welcoming community. We can and will work together to find the best in each other, to bridge our differences and to treat each other with the respect and kindness that all people deserve.” 

The faculty & staff of the Department of Bioethics & Humanities
University of Washington School of Medicine pdf version of this flyer

Department of Bioethics Diversity Statement (pdf)

About the Department of Bioethics and Humanities

Welcome to the Department of Bioethics and Humanities. The primary strength of the department is its rich, talented, interdisciplinary nature, which is a function of the faculty.  Capitalizing on this strength and expanding the visibility of the department has emerged as a key goal for us. 

The Department provides academic education and professional training in bioethics and humanities through an MA in Bioethics; an undergraduate Minor in Bioethics and Humanities; curricula in clinical ethics and professionalism for medical students, residents, and fellows; and sponsored continuing education activities for practicing health care professionals.

The Department of Bioethics & Humanities is committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and community service.  Integral to this commitment is promoting diversity and making our programs attractive to traditionally under-represented individuals.

Our faculty represent diverse scholarly disciplines, including medicine, genetics, philosophy, health services, religious studies, education, pathology, history, and other areas.  We partner with faculty from the schools of medicine, law, nursing, pharmacy, public health, social work and the college of arts and sciences. Faculty publications explore a wide range of areas, including the ethical, legal and social implications of genetics and genomic research; community-based participatory research; social justice and access to health care; social inequalities in health and health disparities; medical error;  and palliative and end of life care.
Our graduate students bring training and experience from a variety of fields, including medicine, law, nursing, social work, physician assistant studies, dentistry, and other areas. 

Click here to view the dpartment's annual report: 2017-2018 Annual Report | 2016-2017 B H Annual Report


Dr. Arno G Motulsky (1923-2017)

Professor emeritus of medicine and of genome sciences, a pioneer in human and medical genetics, Dr. Motulsky passed away January 17, 2018 at his home in Seattle.

In 2001, Arno Motulsky, Professor of GenomeSciences, University of Washington, donated a large collection of his books to the Bioethics & Humanities Department.  The collection’s focus is primarily genetic and has its own section in the departmental library, known as the Motulsky Collection. The department is grateful for this donation and connections made with our faculty.

Department & Faculty

Professor Emeritus Jack Berryman featured in the Faculty Friday spotlight section of The Whole U. The article highlights Dr. Berryman's "Exercise in Medicin" and his passion for fly fishing. Here is the link t the full article: https://www.washington.edu/wholeu/2018/01/19/faculty-friday-jack-berryman/

Professor Nancy Jecker has a 3-year renewable appointment (January 2017-December 2019) as a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg, where I am working with South African colleagues on the sub-Saharan African concept of Ubuntu, usually translated as “dignity.” I will be traveling there in April, speaking at both the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics.

Welcome Mandy Morneault

We are pleased to welcome Mandy Morneault as our new Administrator.  Mandy comes to us from the Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) where she served as Manager of Regulatory Knowledge and Training. In her new role with us, Mandy will be responsible for Financial Management and Operations, Human Resource Management, Strategic Planning and Program Development, and Research Administration. We look forward working with Mandy as she joins our scrappy department team.

Q&A with chair of UW Department of Bioethics & Humanities

In March, Denise Dudzinski was named the new chair of the UW Department of Bioethics & Humanities, a Dudzinski-head-shot-2015small department that works on big issues – end-of-life care, responsible conduct of research and social justice. “Ethics provides a kind of scaffolding and language for the moral life. It helps people see moralissues from a variety of perspectives and better understand the reasons that people sometimes – quite reasonably – disagree with each other. We hope this promotes better understanding and tolerance.” Dudzinski said her moral awareness started at an early age when her family moved to Riyad, Saudi Arabia. Find out more about the department through a Q&A with the chair. 

Jack Berryman Receives Prestigious Literary Award

Jack W. Berryman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Departments of Bioethics & Humanities and Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, School of Medicine, received the Roderick Haig-Brown Literary Award from Fly Fishers International at their 52nd annual meeting in Livingston, Montana last month. The award inscription: “Presented to Jack Berryman whose literary works embody the philosophy and spirit of fly fishing ethics, conservation and the rich history of the sport.” Since 1964, FFI has been an organized voice for fly fishers around the world and represent all aspects of the sport from the art of fly-tying and casting to protection of the natural systems that support healthy fisheries and their habitats. Berryman was only the 16th recipient since the award is only given when a worthy candidate is identified. As a freelance author, Berryman has published over 300 articles in a wide variety of adventure, travel, and fishing magazines. His book, Fly-Fishing Pioneers & Legends of the Northwest, won the Best Book Award in 2007 from the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

Congratulations to Professor Wylie Burke on winning the 2014 UW Medicine Award for Excellence in Mentoring.  The award, initially sponsored by UW Medicine's National Center for Excellence in Women's Health, recognizes the need for mentoring of women faculty by all faculty and will be presented by Dean Ramsey to Dr. Burke on June 5, 2015.  Twenty-two mentees submitted letters of support in nominating Dr. Burke for this well-deserved award.   To read the UW Medicine News piece click here.

Other News


Bioethics & Humanities won a Catageory competion!

B&H folks with judges

more photos on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/UWDBH/

2018 Dawg Daze Decoration Challenge! This year’s judges were so impressed by each office’s energy and creativity. Due to the intense competition, we have winners for each category and one Grand Prize winner.

Category Winners

  • Best Theme: School of Social Work
  • Department Involvement: School of Public Health Undergraduate Programs
  • Most Creative: Student Fiscal Services
  • Incorporation of Department Mission: Bioethics & Humanities
  • Presentation: Office of Admissions

Grand Prize: Office of the University Registrar and Enrollment Information Services

Congratulations to all of winners! For photo highlights, please visit our website: www.uwdawgdaze.com/decoration-challenge.


We recommend  Tom McCormick’s article “The Ethics for Doctors in Helping a Patient Die” in the Opinion pages of The New York Times.

Read about Adjunct Professor Doug Diekema’s perspective on childhood vaccination policy in Washington state in this article by Brian Donohue in the Health Sciences NewsBeat.

Faculty Wylie Burke, Denise Dudzinski, Nancy Jecker, Tom McCormick and adjuncts Mark Sullivan, Mark Tonelli, Ben Wilfond, and Doug Diekema have been featured in a series of artilces "Bioethics Q&A series: Facing today's dilemmas" by Brian Donohue in the Health Sciences NewsBeat.



Bioethics listserv

Are you interested in receiving information about bioethics events, lectures, discussions, and news of interest? Click here to subscribe to our bioethics listserv.

Advanced Training in Healthcare Ethics

The UW School of Medicine Department of Bioethics & Humanities offers a fee-based flexible distance learning program to provide advanced training in healthcare ethics. The Advanced Training in Healthcare Ethics provides students with foundational knowledge and skills to broaden their competency in patient cases, clinical ethics, and ethics consultation.
Program features:

  • Program Director: Denise Dudzinski, PhD, MTS, Professor and Chair
  • Guided by the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities’ Core Competencies for Healthcare Ethics Consultation
  • Clinician-friendly & full-time worker friendly. Courses are asynchronous (meaning weekly coursework can be completed whenever it's convenient for the student)
  • Three convenient distance learning courses in Healthcare Ethics:
    • Theory:  Moral theories used to solve the toughest clinical cases
    • Law:  Key legal and ethical issues in healthcare ethics
    • Methods:  Methods for case analysis and writing effective chart notes
  • One weeklong CME Course in Seattle: Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics

Advanced Training in Healthcare Ethics
UW Department of Bioethics & Humanities
1959 NE Pacific St, Room A204, Box 357120
Seattle, WA 98195-7120

Graduate School Program Review of Bioethics & Humanities   

The Department Program Review site visit has concluded. We look forward to the Site Visit Committee final report, recommendations, and advice.

The Site Visit Committee members were Dr. Rachel Chapman, UW Anthropology (chair); Dr. Andrea Woody, UW Philosophy; Dr. Leonard Fleck, Center for Ethics & Humanities in the Life Sciences, Philosophy, Michigan State University; and Dr. Pilar Ossorio, Law & Bioethics, University of Wisconsin. We are extremely grateful for their time, effort, and thoughtfulness in getting to know our people and mission.

Thank you to the Graduate School, School of Medicine Leadership, our wonderful faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, and outstanding undergraduate and graduate students who participated in the process.


Dena S Davis, JD, PhD, Presidential Endowed Chair in Health- Humanities/Social Science; Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Lehigh University

April 18, 8-9am, Seattle Children's Hospital. "Is my daughter a virgin?: An ethicalanalysis of a loaded question

April 18, 1-2:3pm, UW. "Ethical issues in Alzheimers dissease research involving human subjescts.

Click here for flyer. For more information contact Diana Wells, 205.884.5733

Sept. 13-14: Save the date & spread the word!


Washington State Medical Association



At the End of Life: The Physician's Role, Responsibility, and Agency
Save the dates for this national, two-day conference, Sept. 13-14, 2019, in Seattle.

WEOLC logo
Physicians have the privilege and duty to care for patients at the end of life. Sometimes a physician’s actions factor into a patient’s death; such as discontinuing life support (including ventilators, cardiac devices, and dialysis), clinically supporting patients who voluntarily stop eating and drinking (VSED), providing palliative sedation, and in states where it is legal, prescribing a lethal dose of medication to a dying patient. These cases have clinical, legal, ethical, sociocultural, and psychological dimensions that are often challenging for physicians to navigate.
At this conference, we'll set the stage for ongoing discussion of these practices and the issues physicians caring for dying patients often face as both medical technology and patients’ requests for planned death evolve.
The Washington End of Life Coalition—sponsored by the WSMA Foundation—is partnering with UW Medicine Department of Bioethics & Humanities, UW Medicine Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, and UW School of Law to present this national conference on the physician’s role, responsibility, and agency at the end of life.
The event will be held Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Please take a moment to forward this email to your colleagues who may be interested in attending. Save the dates and stay tuned for further conference details.

Meeting information

You won’t want to miss this incredible lineup of speakers and panelists:

  • Joshua Benditt, MD – Medical Director, Respiratory Services, University of Washington Medical Center; Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Lewis Cohen, MD – Author, "No Good Deed: A Story of Medicine, Murder Accusations, and the Debate over How We Die"; Professor of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, Springfield, MA
  • Denise Dudzinski, PhD, MTS – Professor and Chair, Department of Bioethics & Humanities, University of Washington; Adjunct Professor, School of Law, Department of Pediatrics, and Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH – A. Bruce Montgomery, MD-American Lung Association Endowed Chair in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine; Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine; Director, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA
  • Linda Ganzini, MD, MPH – Director, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Oregon Health Sciences University; Associate Director, HSR&D Center of Innovation, VA Portland HCS; Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR
  • Judith R. Gordon, PhD – Clinical Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Washington; Psychotherapist, private practice, Seattle, WA
  • James Kirkpatrick, MD – Director, Echocardiography Laboratory, UW Medical Center; Associate Professor, Medicine and Cardiology, University of Washington; Adjunct Associate Professor, Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Patricia Kuszler, MD, JD – Charles I. Stone Professor of Law, School of Law, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Daniel Lam, MD – Medical Director, Palliative Care Services, Harborview Medical Center; Assistant Professor of Nephrology and Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA
  • Joseph McCreery, MD – Psychiatrist, private practice, Seattle, WA
  • Laura J. Morrison, MD – Director of Palliative Medicine Education and Program Director, Hospice and Palliative Medicine; Associate Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  • Barbara Noah, JD – Professor of Law, Western New England University, Springfield, MA
  • Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD – Author, "What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear"; "What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine"; and "Intensive Care: A Doctor’s Journey"; Attending Physician, Bellevue Hospital; Associate Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
  • Aasim Padela, MD – Director of Program on Medicine and Religion; Director of Initiative on Islam and Medicine; Associate Professor, Section of Emergency Medicine; Faculty, Maclean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, Chicago, IL
  • Thaddeus Pope, JD, PhD – Author, Medical Futility Blog; Co-author, "The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking"; Director, Health Law Institute; Professor of Law, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St. Paul, MN
  • Timothy Quill, MD – Author, "Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care and Patient Choice"; and "Caring for Patients at the End of Life: Facing an Uncertain Future Together"; Georgia and Thomas Gosnell Distinguished Professor of Palliative Care; Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Medical Humanities, and Nursing, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY
  • Rabbi Rami Shapiro, PhD – Author, "Holy Rascals: Advice for Spiritual Revolutionaries"; Columnist, Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler, Spirituality and Health Magazine; Co-founder and Senior Advisor, One River Foundation, Nashville, TN
  • Eric Walsh, MD – Associate Professor of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR
  • Haider Warraich, MD – Author, "Modern Death: How Medicine Changed the End of Life"; Fellow, Cardiovascular Disease, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
  • Aaron Wightman, MD – Assistant Professor, Division of Nephrology and Division of Bioethics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

Event details will be posted at the event webpage as they become available. Email Brendan Cox at brendan@wsma.org to add your name to the mailing list to be notified when registration opens.

Conference partners

WSMA Foundation for Health Care Improvement logo

UW Medicine Department of Bioethics and Humanities logo UW Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence logo UW School of Law logo


Charles W. Bodemer Lecture
For our 2018 Annual Charles W. Bodemer Lecture, we are very pleased to be collaborating with the Program on Values in Society as part of their half-day symposium on Life Support: The Role of Family, Friends, and Community in Health and Healthcare. Distinguished bioethicist, Professor Hilde Lindemann will be giving the keynote address.  All members of the Bioethics and Humanities community, and the UW School of Medicine, are welcome to join us for the keynote lecture and stay for the reception, hosted by the Department of Bioethics and Humanities with generous support from the Bodemer Fund.

Please stay tuned for the 2018 Bodemer Lecture announcement and details.

Bioethics Grand Rounds

Save the date!

Late May 2019

“Time for a Heart-to-Heart: Reflections on Life in the Face of Death”

Bob Mitchell, Ph.D.
Novelist, essayist, poet, memoirist, heart and kidney transplant survivor 


We invite you to join us for Bioethics Grand Rounds,sponsored by the Department of Bioethics & Humanities. This is a CME credit activity.

Summer Seminar

SAVE THE DATES: 2019 Summer Seminar in Health Care Ethics

The 32nd annual Summer Seminar will occur the week of July 29-August 2, 2019 on the UW campus. To ensure receipt of a brochure, please email cme@uw.edu. Information about the course will be available in the spring at:  http://depts.washington.edu/cme/home/

Click here to view the 2018 brochure.

B&H & Treuman Katz faculty, colleagues, and students at ASBH in Kansas City 2017

ASBH Mtg Oct 2017

Pioneer Medicine: Milestones from Seattle’s First Century, 1850-1950

John Gerhard, Jack Berryman, Lisa Oberg at Bodemer Exhibit 2016

Gerhard, Berryman, Oberg showcasing Bodemer Exhibit

A beautiful showcase of Dr. Bodemer’s collection of medical instruments and historical documents.  With Professor Emeritus Jack Berryman’s vision, John Gerhard’s leadership, and Lisa Oberg’s curation the result was a compelling and impressive collection, expertly catalogued, displayed, and explained.   This is a fitting tribute to the history faculty who originated and built the Division of Biomedical History.  Without them, we would not be the Department of Bioethics and Humanities today.  We're glad that students, historians, and citizens will have access to these historical artifacts and documents. Click here for more info.


Congratulations to Bioethics Minor Mira Naidoo, recipient of a 2017 UW Husky 100 student award. The Husky 100 truly reflect the students across our campuses. They are undergraduates who came to the UW straight from high school or transferred from community college. They are graduate students returning in the midst of successful careers. They have founded start-ups, conducted undergraduate research and advocated for social justice. They work on campus and in our communities. They are leaders and innovators. http://www.washington.edu/husky100/#name=mira-naidoo . More about the award can be found here.


Congratuations to Dr. Abby Rosenberg, MA Bioethics alum!

The American Cancer Society has approved funding for 78 research and training grants totaling $39,836,250 in the second of two grant cycles for 2017. Dr. Abby Rosenberg of Seattle Children's Hospital is a grant recipient. Rosenberg’s work will examine whether a brief, one-on-one intervention targeting stress-management/mindfulness, goal-setting, positive reframing, and meaning-making can address poorer psychosocial outcomes seen among adolescent and young adult cancer patients.

Congratulations to MA Bioethics Alum Danae Dotolo, who has been selected as one of six 2016-2017 Magnusson Schoolars!

    A quote from her Scholar profile states "Danae is uniquely poised to undertake this work. Her background in research, her understanding of the health care system, and her interest in deeply theorizing her work all demonstrate her capacity to be one of the important social welfare scholars of the next generation.”

Here’s the direct link to the full articlet:

SOM Curriculum Renewal

The faculty in Bioethics & Humanities are pleased to be participating in the ongoing School of Medicine Curriculum Renewal process for the MD program. During the Visioning Phase, 2011-July 2012, our then Chair Wylie Burke chaired the Vision Committee which was tasked with defining the guiding principles for the renewal process.  During  the Steering Phase (October 2012  - April 2013),  B&H faculty served on several committees:  Dr. Burke chaired the Governance Committee and served on the Steering Committee,  Erika Blacksher served on the Health Equity Committee, and Kelly Edwards chaired and Denise Dudzinski was a member of the Ethics and Professionalism Committee. During the current Design phase, Dr. Burke continues to Chair the Governance Committee and serve on the Steering Committee and Kelly Edwards serves on the newly formed Integrated Themes Committee. Denise Dudzinski now co-directs the Ethics and Professionalism curriculum design.


Have you seen the online American Medical Association's Journal of Ethics? It is a great resource for ethical issues, case studies, ethics polls, and podcasts.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization has launched a project titled Global Ethics Observatory. It is a world-wide network of databases in bioethics and in other areas of applied ethics including lists of experts in the field of ethics, ethics institutions, ethics teaching programs, and a database of legislation, guidelines and regulations relating to ethics.

Open Spaces: Views from the Northwest is a quarterly magazine for voices from the Northwest that speak with knowledge and insight to issues affecting people in every region. It is created in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Open Spaces offers perceptive articles as well as thought provoking stories, essays and poetry on many subjects including medicine, politics, publishing, culture, law, science, music, business, art, education, health, sleep, food, travel and gardening.

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

Dr. Kelly Edwards, Dr. Malia Fullerton, and Sue Trinidad have developed a discussion guide for use with Rebecca Skloot's book,"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks". Click here to download the guide.

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