Don Brunnquell headshot

The Center for Bioethics mourns the passing of Donald J. Brunnquell, PhD, MA, LP

Dr. Brunnquell was a Licensed Psychologist in Minnesota with a special interest in pediatric psychology and bioethics. He had been a member of the Center for Bioethics affiliate faculty since 2000 and an adjunct faculty member in the University of Minnesota Department of Psychology, where he taught Ethics in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. He was a very thoughtful, wise and generous colleague who graciously mentored young professionals and actively engaged in the governance of the Center for Bioethics.

After a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Würzburg in Germany, Don obtained a doctoral degree in child clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota. As the recipient of a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellows Grant in 1991 he completed a Masters Degree in philosophy, concentrating in ethics. 

Over a distinguished career that spanned 36 years at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, he served as Director of the Office of Ethics for 23 of those years. His work included consultation, education and policy regarding clinical, research, and organizational ethics in both biomedical and mental health care. He was a member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Children's Hospitals & Clinics of MN, the committee overseeing protection of research subjects at the institution, chairing the committee for 18 years.

His areas of specialization included end of life decision-making for children, definition of children’s and parents’ interests and rights, medical futility, moral hazard, and moral distress and secondary trauma. 

Outside of this professional work he was active as a poet and member of the acoustic band Stealin’ Home

His obituary, including plans for his memorial service, can be found here: