About The Center for Bioethics

The Center conducts original interdisciplinary research and scholarship, offers educational programs and courses, fosters public discussion and debate, and assists in the formulation of public policy.

The Center provides education in bioethics for University students, faculty, and staff; professionals in health care and related fields; and interested members of the general public.


Debra DeBruin

Interim Director Debra DeBruin, PhD, has been with the Center since 2000. She has served in various leadership roles including Director. Dr. DeBruin’s interests include bioethics and social justice, ethical issues related to women’s health, public health ethics and policy, and ethics of public health emergency preparedness and response.

Enroll in our Fall 2021 Bioethics Courses
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We offer an array of interdisciplinary Bioethics courses that are open to students across the University. Some of these courses fulfill ethics requirements for students in other programs at the University, including requirements for Interprofessional Education for health professions students. See course registration Information.

Learn more

COVID-19 Bioethics
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The Center for Bioethics is promoting ethical responses to the COVID-19 pandemic through academic scholarship, media interviews, educational opportunities, statewide collaboration, and institutional implementation of ethical guidelines.

Read more about COVID-19 Bioethics

Health Equity
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The Center for Bioethics promotes health equity through research, scholarship, development of policy and guidance, and event programming.

See our recordings on Health Equity

Ethics Grand Rounds | Dr. John Song's Vision for Health Equity: Dignity in Death & Dying While in Prison
At the heart of bioethics lies the pursuit of a compassionate and just society. Dr. John Song embodied this heartfelt approach as a bioethicist and an advocate for health equity…
Ethics Grand Rounds | Understanding the Health & Well-being of Sexual & Gender Diverse Populations: Findings from a news National Academy of Sciences Report
There are more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other sexual and diverse (LGBTQI+) people in the U.S. than ever before. A wide range of factors influence…
A syringe about to enter a bottle of vaccine
Dr. Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH comments on the cause of the waste of vaccinations as the demand declines.
A hand in a medical glove holding a syringe full of yellow fluid
Dr. Jennifer Needle MD, MPH comments on the confusing information around COVID-19 booster shots. 
A woman in a mask on a bus looking at her phone
Dr. Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH describes the difference between vaccine passports and MDH's new vaccine report app. 

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