Gerard Magill, Ph.D., and Henk ten Have, M.D., Ph.D., Innovative Leaders of the Center.

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Center for Healthcare Ethics

Healthcare ethics is an interdisciplinary field in a globalized context that engages clinical, organizational, professional, and research issues related to medicine, science, law, policy, social science, and the humanities.

The Center for Healthcare Ethics is part of the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts at Duquesne University, having offered degree programs in healthcare ethics since 1993.

The Healthcare Ethics academic program trains scholars and professionals in the field of health care ethics. In addition to academic courses there are clinical ethics rotations and internships that provide Mentored Apprenticeships in Ethics Consultation supervised by our faculty. It also sponsors lecture series, networks and affiliations that bring together thought-leaders in healthcare ethics to work internationally on issues of importance.

WATCH: Dr. ten Have presents at Creighton University 

Dr. Henk ten Have at Creighton University

In April, Dr. ten Have delivered the School of Medicine Distinguished Lecture at Creighton University. The event was sponsored by Creighton University's Center for Health Policy and Ethics, the Department of Medicine, and the Health Sciences Continuing Education. Dr. ten Have's presentation was titled "Vulnerability: Challenges to bioethics in a global context." FOCUS-Spring 2014 published by Creighton University's Center for Health Policy and Ethics includes description of Dr. ten Have's visit and the event. Available here.

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Students with a Bachelor's degree in a field related to health care ethics, such a humanities degree with a major or minor in ethics, are eligible to apply for admission to a doctoral program.

The Baccalaureate Admission track requires sixteen courses (48 credits) beyond the Baccalaureate Degree.All Healthcare Ethics (HCE) programs include academic courses and clinical ethics rotations or internships. Students may study full-time or part-time. Part-time students must take a minimum of 2 courses each fall and spring semester. Typically, HCE degree courses are taught in the afternoon and evening.

The courses are designed with a focus on research competencies. This will better facilitate the writing of dissertations.


Bioethics has emerged as a global area of research, teaching, public debate and policymaking. Global standards have been formulated by international organizations such as UNESCO and WHO. The Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights unanimously adopted by the Member States of UNESCO presents a framework of global bioethics principles. The challenge now is to apply these principles in various contexts, cultures and practices around the world.

‘Bioethics beyond Borders' is an NGO incorporated in Pennsylvania in April 2011. The organization will bring together bioethics experts from all over the world and get them involved with ethical issues especially in poor and low income countries. BBB will identify cases, problems and issues that require bioethical expertise. BBB's experts will address these issues as they arise, and this can lead to public debate, professional responses, and, if necessary, remedial action as well as appropriate measures and policies.

Learn more about Bioethics Beyond Borders


Ethical challenges exist in all domains of scientific inquiry. For future professionals and practitioners, learning how to cope with such challenges underlines the relevancy of teaching ethics. This is especially important at the university level as students will develop from learners into professionals in their specialized areas of study. Ethics teaching has a special significance at a global level since it will address a variety of different perspectives providing new insights into ethics from various cultural experiences from around the world. However, exchange of experiences with education at global level is virtually non-existent. Thus, establishing a platform to promote education in ethics at a global scale is an exciting new initiative.

In order to promote the teaching of ethics in various areas of science and technology and to enhance exchange of experiences among experts from different parts of the world, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has taken the initiative to bring together in March 2010 a group of experts to act as preparatory group for the establishment of the International Association for Education in Ethics (IAEE).

In April 2011, IAEE has officially been established in Pennsylvania. The Secretariat and Treasury of the Association will be housed in the Center for Healthcare Ethics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, USA. Duquesne University is an excellent host since it has a long-standing interest in ethics education.

The Association has now started to organize its first General Assembly in conjunction with the First International Conference on Education in Ethics, scheduled to take place in Pittsburgh in May 2012.

The Association will bring together all persons interested in ethics education. Many areas of ethics education will be covered. It is now possible to join the Association.

Learn more about IAEE