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Bioethics Research

Johns Hopkins University is home to the world-renowned Berman Institute of Bioethics. Established in 1995, The Institute promotes research in bioethics and encouraging moral reflection among a broad range of scholars, professionals, students, and citizens as means to answer the following kinds of questions: 

  • Should fetal tissue be used to develop new treatments for devastating illnesses?
  • Under what conditions should trials of new vaccines against HIV be permitted to go forward?
  • May organs be harvested from people who are not "brain dead" but who have no prospect of regaining cognitive function? 
  • What criteria should be used for determining what medical interventions should be paid for, and by whom?
  • Is age an appropriate criterion for rationing decisions?
  • How should health professionals respond to financial constraints on medical practice?
  • Should patients consent to the rationing policies of employers and insurance companies, and if so, how?  

The Berman Institute of Bioethics brings the moral dimensions of health policy, medical care, and the biological, behavioral, and social sciences to the forefront of scholarship and practice. It prepares the nation's next generation of leaders in bioethics; promotes research at the intersection of ethics, law, medicine, and science; and provides service to the government and the private sector. Several members of our faculty proudly hold appointments in the Institute, making Hopkins GIM a major cross-roads for bioethics inquiry on campus.

Information about the GIM faculty members with appointments in the Berman Institute of Bioethics and their projects is provided below.  


Mary Catherine Beach, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine and Health, Behavior and Society
Core Faculty, Berman Institute of Bioethics
Core Faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research

Research Interests: Physician-patient relationship and communication, respect, ethics
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

Ruth Faden, PhD, MPH
Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics
Executive Director, Berman Institute of Bioethics
Research Interests: Bioethics and public policy, ethics and cellular engineering, ethics and bioterrorism, genetics and public policy, research ethics, justice
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

Gail Geller, ScD
Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Health Policy and Management, and Health, Behavior and Society
Core Faculty, Berman Institute of Bioethics
Research Interests: Informed consent, physician-patient communication and decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, ethical and psychosocial issues in cancer genetics, end-of-life care, provider well-being, research ethics, complementary and alternative medicine, qualitative research methods
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

Mark Hughes, MD, MA 
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Core Faculty, Berman Institute of Bioethics
Research Interests: Clinical bioethics, research ethics, palliative care, philosophy of medicine, ambulatory care

To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

David M. Levine, MD, ScD, MPH
Professor of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing
Core Faculty, Berman Institute of Bioethics
Research Interests:
Community-based prevention of cardiovascular disease, behavioral aspects of prevention
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

Jeremy Sugarman, MD, MPH, MA
Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Bioethics, Medicine, and  Health Policy and Management
Deputy Director for Medicine, Berman Institute of Bioethics

Research Interests: Philosophical and empirical research in biomedical ethics
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED


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