Joan Liaschenko, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor, Center for Bioethics

Joan Liaschenko

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-624-2443

Fax 612-624-9108

Office Address:
523 Boynton

Mailing Address:
Center for Bioethics
University of Minnesota
N504 Boynton Health Service
410 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Nursing Ethics, University of California, San Francisco,1994-1996

PhD, Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, 1993

MA, Human Development, Bryn Mawr College, 1985

MS, Psychiatric Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, 1989

BS, Mental Health, Hahnemann University, 1974

RN, Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing, 1970


Joan Liaschenko is a Professor and Director of the Ethics Consult Service for the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview; and Professor, School of Nursing. She graduated from Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing in Philadelphia. She obtained a BS from Hahnemann University, an MA from Bryn Mawr College, an MS, PhD, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. She joined the University of Minnesota Faculty in January of 2001.

In the Center for Bioethics, she has taught courses on ‘Foundations of Bioethics,’ ‘Dying in Contemporary Medical Culture,’ ‘Morality and Risk,’ ‘Animal Ethics,’ ‘The Social Construction of Health and Illness,’ and ‘Stories of Illness.’ Both her research and teaching are largely informed by feminist scholarship. Her major research interests are clinical ethics, end-of-life care, the morality of professional health care work, and feminist ethics. She also worked on the Minnesota Pandemic Ethics Project. In the School of Nursing, she teaches ethics to masters and doctoral students.

She has been a visiting scholar in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Germany. 

Awards & Recognition


  • Visiting Scholar, Department of Political Science, University of Hannover, Germany, 2006
  • Visiting Scholar, School of Nursing, Dokuz Eylül University, IZMIR, Turkey, 2005
  • American Academy of Nursing, 2004-present
  • Visiting Scholar, Department of Medical Deontology, University of Ankara, Turkey, 2004
  • E. Louise Grant Award for Excellence in Nursing, University of Minnesota, 2004
  • Mary Boynton Distinguished Lecture, School of Nursing, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2004
  • Visiting Scholar, Nursing Dept., College of Medical Technology, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, 2003
  • Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Nursing, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, 2001
  • Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2001
  • Henry R. Luce Lectureship in Nursing Ethics, Boston College and VNA of Boston, 1999
  • New Investigator Award, School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 1998
  • Sigma Theta Tau, 1993

Professional Associations

  • Co-operative Membership
    Adult and Gerontological Health Co-Operative

Academic Positions:

Professor, 2006, School of Nursing, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Associate Professor, 2001-2006, School of Nursing, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Adjunct Associate Professor, 2002-Present, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Associate, 2001-Present, International Centre for Nursing Ethics, University of Surrey, Surrey, England

Adjunct Associate Professor, 2000-Present, Faculty of Nursing, University of Ca


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Liaschenko's research focuses on the morality of nursing work and bioethics. She uses feminist theory, narrative theory, geographical concepts, and qualitative methods to study nursing work. Specifically, she is interested in how nursing work shapes nurses' moral concerns, the language they use to articulate them, and how they seek to resolve them. She has studied home care nurses, in-patient psychiatric nurses, and nurses who run biomedical clinical trials, and ICU nurses. Her approach yields rich insights into the complexities of clinical work with relevance for interdisciplinary collaboration in clinical work and ethics. These insights highlight the limitations of the dominant model of bioethics. She has recently published in the areas of health disparities and pandemic planning, concepts of space and how they structure ICU care practices, and the ethics of clinical trials.


Selected Publications:

  • DeBruin, D.A., Liaschenko, J., Marshall, M.F. Social justice in pandemic preparedness. American Journal of Public Health. Published online ahead of print February 16, 2012.
  • Liaschenko, J., Peden-McAlpine, C., and Andrews, G. (2011). Institutional Geographies in Dying: Nurses' Actions and Observations on Dying Spaces Inside and Outside Intensive Care Unites Health and Place, 17, 814-821.
  • DeBruin, D.A., Liaschenko, J., Fisher, A. (2011). How clinical trials really work: Rethinking research ethics. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 21(2), 121-139.
  • Liaschenko, J. and Peter, E. (2006) Feminist ethics: A way of doing ethics. In A. J. Davis, L. deRaeve, V. Tschudin (Eds.).Essentials of teaching and learning in nursing ethics: Perspectives and methods (pp. 181 ¿ 190). London: Elsevier.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2006). Teaching feminist ethics. In In A. J. Davis, L. deRaeve, V. Tschudin (Eds.). Essentials of teaching and learning in nursing ethics: Perspectives and methods (pp. 203-215). London: Elsevier.
  • Liaschenko, J., Oguz, Y., & Brunnell, D. (2006). Critique of the "Tragic Case" Method in Ethics Education. Journal of Medical Ethics, 32(11)
  • Rodney, P., Brown, H. & Liaschenko, J. (2004). Moral agency: Relational connections and trust. In J. Storch & P. Rodney (Eds.), Ethical Leadership for Practice: An Advanced Sourcebook for Nurses and Colleagues in Health Care.
  • Kent, R.L., Liaschenko, J., (2004). Operationalizing professional values through PAC donations. Politics, Policy, and Nursing Practice, 5(4), 243-249.
  • Peter, E, Liaschenko, J. (2004). Perils of Proximity: A spatio-temporal analysis of moral distress and moral ambiguity.Nursing Inquiry, 11(4), 218-225.
  • Liaschenko, J. & Peter, E. (2004). Nursing ethics and conceptualizations of nursing: Profession, practice, work. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 46(5), 488-495.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2003). At home with illness: Moral understandings and moral geographies. Ethica, 15(2), 71-82.
  • Liaschenko, J. and DeBruin, D.A. (2003). The need to expand discussions of research integrity. Minnesota Medicine, 86(10), 35-36.
  • Peter, E. and Liaschenko, J. (2003). Whose morality is it anyway? Thoughts on the work of Margaret Urban Walker.Nursing Philosophy, 4(3), 259-262.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2003). Ethics, gender, disciplines, and the social division of labor. Nursing Ethics, 10(2):161-164.
  • Liaschenko, J. & Fisher, E. (2003). Theorizing the knowledge nurses use in the conduct of their work. In Perspectives on Nursing Theory, 4th ed. (Nicoll, L., Reed, P., ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Liaschenko, J. & Peter, E. (2003). Feminist ethics. In V. Tschudin (Ed.), Approaches to Ethics: Nursing Beyond Boundaries (pp. 33-43). Oxford, UK: Butterworth Heinemann.
  • Liaschenko, J. & Peter, E. (2002). The voice of the home care worker in clinical ethics. HEC Forum, 14(3), 217-223.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2002). Thoughts on nursing work. JONA, 32(2), 69-70.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2002). Health promotion, moral harm, and the moral aims of nursing. In L. Young & V. Hayes (Eds.),Transforming Health Promotion Practice: Concepts, Issues, and Applications (pp. 136-147). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2001). Nursing work, housekeeping issues, and the moral geography of home care. In D.N. Weisstub, D.C. Thomasma, S. Gauthier, & G.F. Tomossy (Eds.), Aging: Caring for our Elders (pp. 123-37). Kluwer Academic Press. Dordrecht: The Netherlands.
  • Liaschenko, J. & Underwood, S. (2001).Children in research: Fathers in cancer research - meanings and reasons for participation. Journal of Family Nursing, 7(1), 71-91.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2001). Home care, novels, and the future. Home Care Provider, 6(5), 148-49.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2001). 2001 and thoughts on technology. Home Care Provider, 6(2), 48-49.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2000). The moral geography of care work. Home Care Provider, 5(4),126-27, 132.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2000). The need for an upstream ethics. Home Care Provider, 5(3), 88-89.
  • Liaschenko, J. (2000). The moral work of housekeeping issues. Home Care Provider, 5(1), 12-13.
  • Liaschenko, J. & Fisher, A. (1999). Theorizing the knowledge nurses use in the conduct of their work. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 13(1), 29-41.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1999). Can justice co-exist with the supremacy of personal values in nursing practice? Western Journal of Nursing Research, 21(1), 35-50.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1999). Ethical issues in management. Home Care Provider, 4(3), 98-99.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1999). Balancing an ethics of conviction and an ethics of responsibility. Home Care Provider, 4(2), 50-51.
  • Schmid, M. & Liaschenko, J. (1999). Ethical issues in infection control in the home. Home Care Provider, 4(1), 8-9.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1998). Moral evaluation and the concepts of health and health promotion. Advanced Practice Nursing Quarterly, 4(2), 1-11.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1998). Response to "Language, ideology, and nursing practice." Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 12(4), 363-366.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1998). What if ... ? Language, Health Care, and Moral Imagination. Home Care Provider, 3(5), 242-243, 255.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1998). Justice and Home Health Aids. Home Care Provider, 3(2), 69-70.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1998). Autonomy and the cognitively impaired elderly. Home Care Provider, 3(1), 12-13, 16.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1998). The shift from the closed to the open body - ramifications for nursing testimony. In S.D. Edwards (Ed.), Philosophical Issues in Nursing (pp. 1-16). London: Macmillan.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1997). "Knowing the patient?" In S. Thorne and V. Hayes (Eds.), Nursing praxis: Knowledge and action(pp. 23-38). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1997). Ethics and the geography of the nurse-patient relationship: Spatial vulnerabilities and gendered space. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 11(1), 45-59.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1997). Trust and physician-assisted suicide. Home Care Provider, 2(2), 94-96.
  • Davis, A., Aroskar, M., Liaschenko, J., Drought, T. (1997). Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing Practice (4th ed.). Stamford, CT: Appleton-Lange.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1996). Shifting moralities: From sanctity of life to quality of life. Home Care Provider, 1(6), 331-33.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1996). A sense of place for patients: living and dying. Home Care Provider, 1(5), 270-272.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1996). Safety first? More than duty. Home Care Provider, 1(2), 108-109.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1996). Home is different: On place and ethics. Home Care Provider, 1(1), 49-50.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1995). Ethics in the work of acting for patients. Advances in Nursing Science, 18(2), 1-12.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1995). Artificial personhood: Nursing ethics in a medical world. Nursing Ethics, 2(3), 185-196.
  • Drought, T., & Liaschenko, J. (1995). Ethical practice in a technologic age. Critical Care Clinics of North America, 7(2), 297-304.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1994). Making a bridge: The moral work with patients we do not like. Journal of Palliative Care, 10(3), 83-89.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1994). The moral geography of home care. Advances in Nursing Science, 17(2), 16-26.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1993). Feminist ethics and cultural ethos: Revisiting a nursing debate. Advances in Nursing Science, 15(4), 71-81.
  • Liaschenko, J., & Davis, A. J. (1991). Nurses and physicians on nutritional support: A comparison. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 16(3), 259-284.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1989). Changing paradigms within psychiatry: Implications for nursing research. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 3(3), 153-158.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1981). Assessment of anxiety and depression in the dying patient. Topics in Clinical Nursing, 2(1), 39-46.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1981). Patient group therapy sessions. In P. Tretter et al. (Eds.), Psychosocial aspects of radiation therapy: The patient, the family, and the staff (pp. 114-117). New York: Arno Press.
  • Liaschenko, J. (1977). Rehabilitation of the patient with breast cancer. Philadelphia Medicine, 73(3), 91, 93, 95.
  • Liaschenko, J., & Torpie, R. (1976). A case report on death from two perspectives. In A.M. Earle et al. (Eds.), The nurse as care giver for the terminal patient and his family (pp. 92-103). New York: Foundation of Thanatology Publication.
  • Translated works: (Japanese)
  • Liaschenko, J. & Fisher, A. (2002). Kango ni okeru Jissenchi no Rironka (Theorizing the knowledge nurses use in the conduct of their work). In A. Davis, T. Mitoh, E. Konishi, & M. Sakagawa (Eds.), Kango Rinri - Riron, Jissen, Kenkyu (Nursing Ethics - Theory, Practice, and Research) (pp. 61-74). Tokyo: Japan Nurses' Association Publishing Co.
  • Drought, T., & Liaschenko, J. (2002). Tekunorojii Jidai ni okeru Rinriteki Kango (Ethical practice in a technologic age). In A. Davis, T. Mitoh, E. Konishi, & M. Sakagawa (Eds.), Kango Rinri - Riron, Jissen, Kenkyu (Nursing Ethics - Theory, Practice, and Research) (pp. 121-135). Tokyo: Japan Nurses' Association Publishing Co.


Academic Interests and Focus

Nursing Ethics; The Social Construction of Health and Illness