Holly Fernandez Lynch
  • Titles:
  • John Russell Dickson, MD Presidential Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
  • Assistant Faculty Director of Online Education
  • Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
  • Education:
  • JD, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
  • MBe, University of Pennsylvania, Bioethics
  • BA, University of Pennsylvania, Health and Societies/Bioethics

Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBE, is the John Russell Dickson, MD Presidential Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. She is also Assistant Faculty Director of Online Education in the Department, helping to lead the University’s first online master’s degree, offered in health care innovation.

In June 2019, Professor Fernandez Lynch was named a Greenwall Faculty Scholar, Class of 2022. Her project – motivated by calls to acknowledge patient expertise, as well as broader attacks on traditional expertise and authority – focuses on the question of what makes health care gatekeeping ethical. The project aims to generate a normative framework to interrogate the scope, value, and legitimacy of health care gatekeeping and to develop sound policy approaches, with an emphasis on gatekeeping at the end of life.

Professor Fernandez Lynch’s scholarly work focuses primarily on the ethics and regulation of research with human subjects and related areas, including payment to research participants, research with biospecimens, the use of social media in research settings, patient-engaged research, research risks to bystanders, access to investigational therapies (including “Right to Try”), and the quality of Institutional Review Board oversight of research. She is the founder and co-chair of the Consortium to Advance Effective Research Ethics Oversight (AEREO), established in 2018.

Professor Fernandez Lynch has published in leading bioethics, medical, and law journals, including JAMA, The New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Health Affairs, The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, and The American Journal of Bioethics, in addition to popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and STAT. She is the author of Conflicts of Conscience in Health Care: An Institutional Compromise (MIT Press 2008), as well as the co-editor of seven books, covering human subjects research regulation; FDA regulation of drugs and new technologies; health law and behavioral economics; law, religion, and health; biospecimen research; big data, health law, and bioethics; and transparency in health and health care.

Professor Fernandez Lynch served as member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP) from 2014-2019, and she continues to serve on a SACHRP subcommittee. She has been co-investigator on projects examining issues related to improving recruitment to clinical trials, oversight of patient-centered outcomes research, and legal and ethical issues related to football player health.

Prior to joining Penn, Professor Fernandez Lynch was Executive Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School and Teaching Faculty in the Master of Bioethics program at Harvard Medical School. She has worked as an attorney in private practice focused on pharmaceuticals regulation and as a bioethicist at the NIH’s Division of AIDS and President Obama's Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

Professor Fernandez Lynch attended college at Penn, and was a Levy Scholar in Law and Bioethics at Penn Law. She also has a Master of Bioethics from Penn.

Selected Publications

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