Faculty Bios

M. Sara Rosenthal, PhD

Dr. Rosenthal received all of her academic training at the University of Toronto, and she received her doctorate in bioethics from the University of Toronto's Joint Centre for Bioethics.

Dr. Rosenthal is Professor and Founding Director, University of Kentucky Program for Bioethics, Departments of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Behavioral Science. She is Chair of the University of Kentucky Medical Center's Hospital Ethics Committee and directs its clinical ethics consultation service. She is also faculty at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Kentucky; in this capacity, she also directs the Research Ethics Consultation Service, also known as "benchside ethics" consults.

Dr. Rosenthal's research interests focus on endocrine ethics, reproductive ethics, and clinical ethics, including her novel multimedia work on the topic, moral distress (www.moraldistressproject.org). Dr. Rosenthal is Past Chair of the American Thyroid Association's Ethics Advisory Committee, and also a member of The Endocrine Society, the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, and the Association of Bioethics Program Directors. She is the author of over 50 publications; has served as the bioethicist on numerous clinical practice guidelines, and has delivered over 150 scholarly presentations nationally and internationally.

For additional information about Dr. Rosenthal, please visit her website.

Caroline A. Buchanan, PhD

Dr. Buchanan is an Assistant Professor with the UK Program for Bioethics. She received her PhD in Philosophy in 2017 from the University of Kentucky and joined the UK Program for Bioethics faculty in 2019. She directs the UK College of Medicine Scholarly Concentration in Bioethics and is a certified Clinical Ethics Consultant at UK Healthcare where she is a member of the Clinical Ethics Consultation team. 

Dr. Buchanan has presented nationally on issues including decision-making for federally incarcerated patients and medical necessity in reproductive healthcare, and internationally on the role of clinical ethics in evolving legal landscapes, and the best practices for informed consent discussions in adolescents. She has published on pediatric ethics consultation and is currently doing research on public perception of wastewater surveillance post-COVID-19. 

Dr. Buchanan has taught a wide variety of upper-level university courses, including business ethics, feminist theory, political and social philosophy, existential philosophy, technology in death and dying, and the history of modern philosophy. In addition to serving as a clinical ethics consultant, she rounds throughout the hospital and serves on the hospital ethics committee. Dr. Buchanan’s research interests include reproductive ethics, definitions of personhood and capacity and ethical issues surrounding inpatient care for incarcerated patients. 

Staff Bios

Joey Elizabeth Burke, MSN, MFA, RN  

Joey Elizabeth Burke is a nurse ethicist in the Program for Bioethics at the University of Kentucky and is a member of the clinical ethics consult team. She rounds throughout the hospital, especially I.C.U.’s, and leads ethics education conferences for multiple units. She is committed to creating opportunities for having conversations about ethical matters long before a formal consultation is needed. She has made presentations on the code of ethics in nursing, strategies for confronting medical misinformation, and moral distress for healthcare workers.  

Joey has nineteen years of bedside nursing experience in a pediatric acute care setting. Originally from Memphis Tennessee, Joey’s education background includes a bachelor's degree in psychology from Centre, College, ADN from Midway College, master's in nursing education from Indiana Wesleyan University, and MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Kentucky University.