The Division of Medical Ethics aims to improve patient care, medical sciences, and health care policy through outstanding bioethics scholarship and the training of the next generation of bioethics scholars. With strengths in research ethics, neuro- and mental health ethics, global bioethics and the ethics of health care policy, it is among the leading centers of bioethics scholarship in the world.
Learning With Patients
A team of researchers and patient advocates explored how healthcare systems learn to improve their care, how they share what they have learned with other systems, and how patients and family members partner in this work. This project was funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute® (PCORI®) Award (ME-1507-31307).
AEREO: The Consortium to Advance Effective Research Ethics Oversight
Launched in May 2018, AEREO is a consortium of leaders in institutional human subjects research oversight, research ethics, and empirical methods. We have come together to advance the shared mission of evaluating and improving the effectiveness of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and Human Research Protection Programs (HRPPs). Consortium members work collaboratively to advance an empirical research agenda to support evidence-based approaches to research ethics review, oversight, and policy.
The Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care
The Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care is housed in the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. The ScattergoodEthics Program aims to elevate the national conversation about the ethics of research, treatment, and delivery of behavioral health care.
The Penn Program on Precision Medicine for the Brain (P3MB)
The Penn Program on Precision Medicine for the Brain (P3MB) seeks to understand the inter-related clinical, ethical, and policy implications of applying precision medicine to the brain and to translate these discoveries into practice. The power of P3MB is its multidisciplinary collaborations. The work is made possible by grants from the Alzheimer’s Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute on Aging, and generous philanthropic support.
Penn Program in Clinical Conflict Management
The Penn Program in Clinical Conflict Management offers training in clinical ethics mediation skills and techniques for physicians, nurses, administrators, ethics committee members, social workers, legal counsel, pastoral care providers and other health care professionals. This program enhances the skill set of any health care professional who deals with conflict in a clinical setting. Our workshops cover an introduction to the mediation process, dynamics of the patient/provider relationship, categories of clinical ethics disputes, the neutrality dilemma, and mock mediations. Students will be placed in a variety of clinical simulations in which they will play the roles of disputants and mediators, with ongoing discussions and critiques of mediator performance.
Our faculty have been heavily involved in research and guidance surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020. Our Medical Ethics & Health Policy faculty have provided their expertise on everything from financial incentives to increase vaccine uptake, to equitable ways to distribute the vaccine in the United States and abroad, vaccine mandates, the FDA approval process, and more. Learn about some of our projects here, or find COVID-19-related media on our News page. In addition, you can find resources on our Online Education “Policy, Ethics, and COVID-19” page.