Michael J. Deem, Ph.D., Peter Ikechukwu Osuji, C.S.Sp., Ph.D., Henk ten Have, M.D., Ph.D., Sarah Stockey DHCE., Joris Gielen, Ph.D., and Gerard Magill, 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, part of the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts at Duquesne University, has offered degree programs in healthcare ethics since 1993, and beginning with the fall 2018 semester, will be offering degree programs in Catholic Healthcare Ethics.

The Healthcare Ethics academic program trains scholars and professionals in the field of healthcare 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.


Spring 2019 David F. Kelly Bioethics Lecture

Please save the date for our upcoming Kelly Lecture on Tuesday February 12th, 2019 featuring Professor Chris Gastmans!


The number of older adults continues to increase worldwide. Given that older adults are especially prone to suffer from dementia, many countries will be confronted with a rising number of people with dementia. These demographics as well as clinical evolutions result in important new responsibilities for older adults, in general, and people with dementia, in particular. What do older adults consider to be good care and a good death? What do they consider as their own responsibility in ‘preparing the future'? What do they think about legal regulations regarding patient rights, advance directives, euthanasia, and assisted suicide, and what do these legal frameworks mean for their own situation? In our contribution, we propose a comprehensive foundational and clinical ethical framework to deal with the above-mentioned questions about care for persons with dementia. First, we briefly outline the general philosophical-ethical background from which we developed our framework. More particularly, a wider ethical perspective characterized by three aspects is presented: lived experience, interpretative dialogue, and normative standard. Against this background, we identify and explore three cornerstone concepts that must be observed in an ethical approach to dementia care: vulnerability, care, and dignity. Based on these concepts, the ethical essence of dementia care practices is described as ‘providing care in response to the vulnerability of a person with dementia in order to maintain, protect, and promote his or her dignity as much as possible.'

Fall 2018 David F. Kelly Bioethics Lecture

Thank you Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina for a wonderful lecture on "Human Rights in the Context of Childcare in Muslim Bioethics"!

2018 ASBH Conference

 Our alumni making HCE proud with a panel discussion titled "The Utility of a Bioethics Doctorate: A Graduate's Perspective" at the 2018 American Society for Bioethics & Humanities (ASBH) Annual Conference!

Pictured from left to right: Sarah Stockey, DHCE; Christine Trani, PhD; Jordan Potter, PhD; Ariel Clatty, PhD  

A revised edition of the Center for Health Care Ethics Academic Handbook is available here.

Please click the following links to access the Spring 2019 course syllabi:

HCE-662: Organizational Ethics in Healthcare

HCE-762: Organizational Ethics in Healthcare (Catholic Program)

HCE-656: End of Life Ethics

Spring 2019 Clinical Syllabi

HCE 646: Clinical HCE I

HCE 647: Clinical HCE II

HCE 647: Clinical HCE II (Advance Standing)

HCE 681: Clinical Internship I

HCE 682: Clinical Internship II

Click here to access course descriptions. 

News & Events

Congratulations to Dr. Joris Gielen who has been named Director of the Center for Healthcare Ethics in the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts!

Please see this article in the DU Times for more information.

Dr. Henk ten Have meets Pope Francis at the occasion of the annual conference of the Pontifical Academy for Life in Rome, June 2018. In his speech to the Academy, Pope Francis advocated a global vision of bioethics based on "the irrevocable dignity of the human person". The Academy has set up a working group on Global Bioethics under the chairmanship of Dr ten Have.

Grad Programs

Visit Our Program Website >>

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.

Current Student Resources