Hospital-Wide Educational Initiatives

The Office of Clinical Ethics offers several hospital-wide educational initiatives. These currently include:

Annual Wiese Lecture in Ethics and Medical Humanities

The Wiese Lecture was made possible by an endowed fund created by the Wiese family and friends in the 1980s in honor of Robert and Esther Wiese. The vision of this lecture fund is to sponsor and support an annual lectureship in the areas of ethics, law, literature and social sciences related to medicine. In the years since its inauguration, the Wiese Lecture has brought many prominent and influential speakers to the Brigham.

On June 9, 2023, Autumn Fiester, PhD, associate professor and associate chair for education in the Division of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, delivered the 2023 Wiese Lecture, "The 'Difficult' Patient Reconceived." Her talk challenged preconceived notions of "difficult" patients, and reviewed strategies for mediating conversations with persons experiencing anger, frustration, and other challenging emotions.

Listen to the 2023 Wiese Lecture: The 'Difficult' Patient Reconceived

On May 5, 2022, Douglas B. White, MD, MAS, a Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and the University of Pittsburgh Endowed Chair for Ethics in Critical Care Medicine, delivered the 2022 Wiese Lecture, "Equity and the Allocation of Scarce Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic." His talk examined issues of equity that have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic and offered several proposals for addressing inequities moving forward.

Listen to the 2022 Wiese Lecture: Equity and the Allocation of Scarce Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

On November 12, 2020, Patrick T. Smith, PhD, M.Div., an Associate Research Professor of Theological Ethics and Bioethics and a Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, delivered the 2020 Wiese Lecture: “Racialized Imagination: What the Humanities Can Offer the Clinical Arena”. His talk examined what we can learn from critical race theory and moral philosophy to address systemic racism and correct the inequities created by it.

Listen to the 2020 Wiese Lecture: Racialized Imagination: What the Humanities Can Offer the Clinical Arena.

On May 2, 2019, Mildred Z. Solomon, EdD, president of the Hastings Center and professor at Harvard Medical School, delivered the 2019 Wiese Lecture: "Responsible Science Amidst Civic Discord: Can Bioethics Help?" Her talk focused on the need to examine values and engage the public in the governance of new biotechnologies.

Listen to the 2019 Wiese Lecture: Responsible Science Amidst Civic Discord: Can Bioethics Help?

Unit-Based Ethics Rounds

Please contact the Office of Clinical Ethics for more information.

Other Resources for Bioethics Education

Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics

Designed as a platform for integrating ethics and scientific discovery, the Center supports collaboration among students, bench scientists, clinical researchers, clinicians, practicing bioethicists, academic philosophers, historians of medicine, humanities scholars and others in order to tackle the ethical challenges posed by present and future biomedical advances. The Center aims to support and strengthen the ethics program at HMS teaching hospitals, prepare the next generation of practitioners in bioethics, and address contemporary ethical issues in the biosciences and health care. The Center hosts numerous lectures, classes, consortia and other educational events throughout the year, many of which are open to the public.

Visit Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics for more information.

Visit the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics' Calendar to access a list of upcoming educational events.

HMS Master of Bioethics Degree Program

The Center for Bioethics offers a one year full-time or two year part-time course of study in conjunction with Center faculty. It combines resources from HMS, Harvard teaching hospitals, and departments all across the university. The program includes foundational courses covering theoretical and applied ethics, strategies of ethical justification, and contemporary challenges, in addition to electives and a capstone experience.

Visit the HMS Master of Bioethics program website for more information.

Harvard Clinical Ethics Consultation Skills Course

The HMS Center for bioethics organizes yearly courses on clinical ethics consultation. This intensive course is designed for members of ethics committees, organizational ethics task forces, ethics support services and others interested in ethical aspects of clinical ethics consultation.

Visit the Clinical Ethics Consultation Skills Course website for more information.

HMS Fellowship in Medical Ethics

During this one-year program, fellows participate in the intellectual life of the HMS Center for Bioethics. They attend weekly seminars designed to explore a wide range of issues in medical ethics, as well as monthly faculty seminars and various public programs sponsored by the Center. Fellows are expected to conduct original research in medical ethics during the fellowship year. They are selected on the basis of their previous academic achievement and the contribution they are likely to make as researchers, clinicians and teachers in medical ethics.

For application information visit the Center for Bioethics website.

The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School

Founded in 2005, the Center’s mission is to promote interdisciplinary analysis and legal scholarship in these fields. It is a leading research program dedicated to the unbiased legal and ethical analysis of pressing questions facing health policymakers, medical professionals, patients, families, and others who influence and are influenced by health care and the health care system. The Center welcomes the public to many of its workshops, conferences and consortia.

For more information about the Petrie-Flom Center, visit their website.

Fellow-in-Residence Program at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University

This program brings together a small group of fellows to work closely over the course of the year on pressing issues in ethics. Fellows enjoy access to a wide range of activities in all of the professional schools at Harvard, as well as in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. They participate in graduate courses, colloquia, curricular development, collaborative research, study groups, case-writing workshops, and clinical programs. A significant part of the fellows' time is devoted to conducting their own research.

Learn more about the Fellow-in-Residence program at their website.

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