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Bioethics Program

Welcome to the website of the UK Program for Bioethics. This program brings people of the UK HealthCare clinical enterprise together with multidisciplinary colleagues with skills and interests in the field of bioethics.

The program is responsible for bioethics education and consultation to the UK HealthCare clinical enterprise and the wider University of Kentucky campus. Our program is also involved in education and outreach for the wider clinical community throughout Kentucky, and we are available as a public education resource on bioethics nationwide. 

Connect with Us

  • Consults

    Clinical Ethics Consultations

    We have a clinical ethics consult service that deals with ethical issues and dilemmas in the patient care setting, which may involve patients, family members, the doctor-patient relationship or clinical colleagues. Examples of clinical ethics issues include:

    • Confidentiality in the clinical setting
    • Diminished capacity to consent 
    • Informed consent
    • Surrogacy issues
    • Advanced directives
    • Withdrawal or refusal of treatment 
    • End-of-life decision-making

    These issues can be complicated by a variety of socio-economic, cultural or language barriers.

    The Clinical Ethics Consultation Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have a rotating service, and a clinical ethics consultant is always on call.

    Pager: 859-330-0365

    Research Ethics Consultation

    The Research Ethics Consultation Service is free and available to all University of Kentucky investigators, researchers, students and laboratory staff.

    Phone: 859-257-9474

  • Education

    We provide a variety of bioethics education programs and courses to the UK clinical enterprise in the form of grand rounds, graduate medical education (GME) or other continuing medical education (CME) activities. For a list of the educational programs available to faculty and staff, contact the Program Director.

    We are also the educational resource for the clinical enterprise surrounding ethics and professionalism, moral distress and moral residue in the clinical setting, and organizational ethics in the clinical setting. Independent study in bioethics can also be arranged for undergraduate and graduate students throughout the university, depending on their program requirements.

  • Films

    For any clinical or non-clinical department, we can offer a screening and panel discussion on bioethics films.  For a complete list of films available for screening, please contact the Program Director.  An e-mail discussion of the issues raised in these films can also be coordinated for small groups who view the films after hours at home.