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Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society

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Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society

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We provide multidisciplinary leadership addressing the ethical, legal, and social dimensions of medicine, health care, and health policy
Getting Answers
"Healing Relationships in Medicine" is a joint project of the Vanderbilt Medical Center and the Baptist Healing Trust to identify skills that facilitate compassionate relationships with patients.
Building Tomorrow
We are devoted to creating research tools that can meet future health care needs while promoting the public´s acceptance and trust in research.
Changing Lives
One qualitative study is examining how a patient´s illness trajectory is interpreted in different ways by patients, families, and care providers.


Clinical Ethics Consultation Service Pager: (615) 831-8603

Highlights and News

Ethics Grand Rounds were recently held November 4, 12 noon, 208 Light Hall.

"Boarding Patients in a Full House: Ethical Responses to Overcrowding in Vanderbilt's EDs"

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Dr. Larry Churchill was the keynote speaker at the Wake Forest Law Review's 2014 Fall Symposium on "Relationship-Centered Health Care: Implications for Law and Ethics," with Drs. Joe Fanning and David Schenck also attending as featured panelists.

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Dr. Elizabeth Heitman was quoted in the most recent edition of Medical Ethics Advisor , Oct, 2014, in the article entitled "Providers don't always meet ethical obligations for patients with limited English proficiency."  Vanderbilt faculty and staff can access the e-journal through the VU library.

Dr. Elizabeth Heitman was recently an invited guest to the China-US Scientific Morality/Integrity Development Seminar hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the China Association for Science and Technology.

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As part of the Flexner Discovery Lecture Series, the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society and the Patricia Townsend Meador Lectureship recently hosted a lecture by Dr. Bernard Lo, MD entitled:

"Decisions near the end of life: Can we make them less agonizing?"

Dr. Lo spoke on September 25 at 4:00 pm in 208 Light Hall.


Congratulations to Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton for receiving the David Rall Medal from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies at the IOM´s 43rd annual meeting.  The David Rall Medal is given to an IOM member who has demonstrated distinguished leadership as chair of a study committee or other such activity, showing commitment above and beyond the usual responsibilities of the position.  Read More

Drs. Churchill, Fanning and Schenck recently published What Patients Teach: The Everyday Ethics of Health Care , available from Oford University Press.  Read More.

Expanded description available at Oxford University Press.

Recent Publications

Additional Highlights

 Also see the Center Calendar