Joel Wu, JD, MPH, MA, HEC-C

Clinical Ethics Assistant Professor

Expertise: Public Health Ethics | Health Policy | Public Health Law | Clinical Ethics with an emphasis on Narrative Ethics Practice

Joel Wu, JD, MPH, MA, HEC-C, is a Center for Bioethics’ Clinical Ethics Assistant Professor and a senior lecturer in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. He is a co-chair of the University of Minnesota Medical Center's Ethics Committee, co-lead for the clinical ethics consultation service for MHealth Fairview system hospitals, and member of the MHealth Fairview Ethics Council. Professor Wu also teaches courses at the intersection of clinical ethics, public health ethics, and public health law.   

Previously, Professor Wu conducted health policy research and development at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) where he served as a study director on the Board on the Health of Select Populations and the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. Professor Wu also worked as a research associate for the former Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution and completed post-doctoral fellowships at the Program in Bioethics and Professionalism at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and in Clinical Ethics at Children's Minnesota and Abbott Northwestern Hospitals in Minneapolis, MN. Professor Wu holds a JD and an MA in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University and an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. 

Expand all



Selected Publications

Kaske, E. A., Wu, J.T., Hardeman, R.R., Darrow, D.P., Satin, D. J. (2022). The language of less-lethal weapons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 119 (17) e2117779119. doi:10.1073/pnas.2117779119

Kaske, E. A., Cramer, S. W., Pena Pino, I., Do, T. H., Ladd, B. M., Sturtevant, D. T., Wu, J., ... & Darrow, D. P. (2021). Injuries from Less-Lethal Weapons during the George Floyd Protests in Minneapolis. New England Journal of Medicine.

Lim, S., DeBruin, D. A., Leider, J. P., Sederstrom, N., Lynfield, R., Baker, J. V., Wu, J., ... & Wolf, S. M. (2020, June). Developing an ethics framework for allocating remdesivir in the COVID-19 pandemic. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Elsevier.

Wu, J. T., & McCormick, J. B. (2018). Why Health Professionals Should Speak Out Against False Beliefs on the Internet. AMA Journal of Ethics, 20(11), 1052-1058.

McCormick, J. B., Wu, J. T., & Doussau, A. (2017). Is It Ethically Acceptable to Screen Patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Not Offer Them Positive Air Pressure Therapy in a Clinical Trial?. The American Journal of Bioethics, 17(10), 76-77.

Boat, T. F., & Wu, J. T. (2015). Mental disorders and disabilities among low-income children. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. (JT Wu, Study Director.)

Scientific standards for studies on modified risk tobacco products. (2012). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. (JT Wu & KR Stratton, Study Directors.)

Ottenberg, A. L., Wu, J. T., Poland, G. A., Jacobson, R. M., Koenig, B. A., & Tilburt, J. C. (2011). Vaccinating Health Care Workers Against Influenza: The Ethical and Legal Rationale for a Mandate. American Journal of Public Health, 101(2), 212-216.

McGuire A.L., Bradford M., Dressler L.G., Fullerton S.M., Koenig B.A., Li R., McCarty C.A., Ramos E., Smith M.E., Somkin C.P., Waudby C., Wolf W.A., & Clayton E.W. (2011). Ethical and practical challenges of sharing data from genome-wide association studies: The eMERGE Consortium experience. Genome Res. 21, 1001-1007. (Contributing author mentioned in text as part of the eMERGE consortium)

Lemke A.A., Wu J.T., Trinidad S.B., Lam A., Pulley J., & Waudby C. (2010). Community Engagement Efforts in Six United States Biobanks: A Report from the eMERGE Network. Genomics, Society and Policy, 6(3), 35-52.

Clayton E.W., Smith M., Fullerton S.M., Burke W., McCarty C.A., Koenig B.A., McGuire A.L., Beskow L., Dressler L., Lemke A.A., Ramos E., & Rodriguez L.L. (2010). Consent and Community Consultation Working Group of the eMERGE Consortium. Confronting Real Time Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in the eMERGE (Electronic Medical Records and Genomics) Consortium. Genetics in Medicine, 12(10), 616-620. (Contributing author mentioned in text as part of the eMERGE consortium)

Ni J.X., Strand M.A., Wu J.T., Wang X.B., Wang Y.G., & Duan X.Q. (2005). Effect of the Health Belief Model on Health Beliefs and Standardized Medication of Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients. (in Chinese) Chinese General Practice 8(23), 1936-1938.

Wu J.T., Hendrickson J.A., Yi Y., George A.L., Henthorn P.S., Hitte C., Galibert F., Rutherford M.S., & Mickelson J.R. (2004). Radiation hybrid and comparative mapping of 38 canine heart ESTs. Animal Genetics 35, 420-421.

Mickelson J.R., Wu J.T., Morrison L.Y., Swinburne J.E., Binns M.M., Reed K.M., & Alexander L.J. (2003). Eighty three previously unreported equine microsatellite loci. Animal Genetics 34, 71-74.

Selected Presentations and Talks

American Society of Bioethics and Humanities Annual Meeting, October 22, 2017. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Heart of Medicine: An approach to preserving the Moral Center of Medicine while integrating the power of AIs.”

Panel Presentation, O’Reilly AI Conference: Put AI to Work, September 19, 2017. “The Potential Ick Factor: Ethical Considerations for designing in healthcare.” Astrid Chow, IBM Watson Health; Amy Chenault, Insulet

Panel Presentation, IA Summit. Vancouver BC, March 25, 2017. "Ethics and AI: Designing for Health." With Laura G. Lee, IBM Watson Health; Astrid Chow, IBM Watson Health; Amy Chenault, IBM Watson Health; Carol Smith, IBM Watson

Symposium Panel, American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting. San Diego CA, February 20, 2010. “DNA Identifiability: Ethical Issues and Policy Challenges.” With B. Koenig, E. Wright Clayton, A.L. McGuire, S. Terry, & B. Malin. Quoted in, “Redefining privacy in the era of personal genomics,” Yun Xie, ArsTechnica, February 23, 2010

Panel Presentation, American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Annual Meeting. Washington, DC, October 17, 2009. “Use of Biological Samples Collected by Public Health Programs for Research Purposes: Ethics at the Intersection of Public Health and Biobanking.” With A. Goldenberg, A.M. Mongoven, M. McGee, & B. Tarini.

Panel Presentation, Rehabilitation Counselors Association of Minnesota. Rochester, MN, April 7, 2010. “Medical Ethics: Practice Implications for Rehab, Medical, Health Care and other Helping Professions.” With B. Koenig, L. Wuermser, & K. Swetz.

Poster Presentation, American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting, Honolulu, HI, October 22, 2009. “Protecting Privacy, Trust, and the Future of Individualized Medicine: An analysis of genomic research practices and policies that fail to account for DNA as a unique identifier, and recommendations on how to fix them.” With B. Koenig.

Panel Presentation, American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Annual Meeting. Washington, DC, October 15, 2009. “Social and Ethical Implications of Supporting or Limiting a Right of Conscientious Refusal for Healthcare Providers.” With J.C. Tilburt, F. Curlin, & J.M. Henriksen Hellyer.



PubH 6741 Ethics in Public Health: Professional Practice and Policy

PubH 6250 Foundations of Public Health

PubH 6711 Public Health Law

PubH 7200 Topics: Public Health Practice, “Public Health and Justice”

BTHX 5400 Intro to Ethics in Health Policy