Integrative Services

Clinical Ethics Support

Clinical ethics is an essential component of excellence in clinical care.

The Center plays a critical role in fulfilling this mission by contributing faculty to co-chair the ethics committee of the University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview and to provide clinical ethics consultation to clinicians and families at the medical center. This work is required for hospital accreditation standards.

In addition to the provision of clinical care, clinical ethics also plays a crucial role in the education of clinicians across disciplines. This education occurs both formally by means of classroom and bedside teaching and informally by means of role modeling patterns of thinking and behavior that reflect awareness of and attention to the moral considerations of practice.

Currently, Dr. Joan Liaschenko serves as Co-director of the medical center’s Ethics Committee and Director of the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service. Joel Wu, JD, MPH is the Center's Clinical Ethics Adjunct Professor. Dr. Jennifer Needle provides support for consultations, especially at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

Research Ethics Support

Center faculty members perform significant support to promote the ethical conduct of research at the University, nationally and internationally.
  • Leigh Turner currently serves on International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy's Presidential Task Force on the Use of Unproven Cellular Therapies.
  • Carl Elliott serves on the Research Compliance Committee in the Office of Vice President for Research at the University of Minnesota. He is an advisory board member for an NIH-funded research project on Phase I clinical trials at the University of North Carolina and serves on the editorial board of the Hastings Center journal Ethics and Human Research (formerly IRB: Ethics and Human Research).
  • Debra DeBruin serves on two committees to support the work of the Human Research Protection Program at the University of Minnesota: the Advisory Committee, and the Education Advisory Committee. She has also served on the Wild Rice Research Advisory Committee (convened by the Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the Vice President for Research).

Center faculty members also currently teach two classes in research ethics. One is a graduate seminar titled “Ethics in Human Subjects Research,” which is taught by a rotating roster of Center faculty members; the other is a seminar in the Honors College, “Doctors Behaving Badly: The Causes and Consequences of Medical Research Scandals,” which is taught by Carl Elliott.

Faculty members also teach research ethics as guest instructors in the curriculum of various other programs, including Nursing, Public Health, Genetic Counseling, and Biomedical Engineering, among others. Debra DeBruin partners regularly with the Human Research Protection Program to develop and offer workshops on research ethics issues for research teams at the University.