Oncology Ethics Program

The UK Markey Cancer Center Oncology Ethics Program was established in 2019, and provides ethics education and services for all clinical and research faculty, staff, students and trainees.

This program incorporates oncology ethics education and clinical oncology ethics consultation and rounding through the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service, which is available to all MCC faculty, staff and patients as part of our comprehensive cancer center and UK Healthcare. MCC faculty, trainees and students in the cancer research community can also utilize the Research Ethics Consultation Service.



Starting Fall 2024, you can join our Oncology Ethics Program Director monthly for “Research Ethics Seminars – With Lunch!” This is a new seminar series for all MCC trainees, students, faculty and staff. Dr. Rosenthal will explore a number of research ethics issues of interest for the MCC community. Watch for announcements through the MCC listserv or contact Dr. Erin Oakley (Erinjoakley@uky.edu) for the schedule.


The MCC Affiliate Network (MCCAN) sponsors a number of dedicated oncology ethics events focusing on clinical ethics issues through the Kentucky Bioethics Consortium (KBC). Watch for announcements of the Oncology Ethics Cases Roundtable – a virtual series with expert Discussants reviewing intriguing and challenging oncology ethics cases of interest. The KBC offers an annual virtual conference that typically has sessions on oncology ethics-related issues.


UK Healthcare and the Program for Bioethics offers Clinical Ethics Grand Rounds for all UK Healthcare faculty, staff and students that regularly deals with a range of ethics issues for the MCC community.


The MCC community can go to our regular Schwartz Rounds series, led by the UK Program for Bioethics nurse ethicist, Joey Burke, who also regularly rounds in oncology units.


Bioethics faculty regularly contribute lectures and/or participate with MCC faculty on specific courses or training grants. 


Dr. Sarah RosenthalThe UK Markey Cancer Center Oncology Ethics Program was founded and is led by M. Sara Rosenthal, PhD, HEC-C.

Dr. Rosenthal received all her academic training at the University of Toronto. She received her Masters and Doctorate in bioethics and medical sociology from the University of Toronto's Joint Centre for Bioethics-- the first WHO collaborating center in bioethics. Dr. Rosenthal is also a certified Healthcare Ethics Consultant. 

Dr. Rosenthal is currently Professor and Founding Director, University of Kentucky Program for Bioethics (2004-Present), Departments of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Behavioral Science. She is Chair of UK Healthcare’s Ethics Committee and directs its clinical ethics consultation service.  Dr. Rosenthal is also Faculty in the Lewis Honors College and Faculty of Record for the Gaines Center for Humanities Dr. Rosenthal is author of over 70 publications, including Clinical Ethics on Film (Springer, 2018) and Healthcare Ethics on Film (Springer 2020, 2021). She has served as bioethicist on numerous clinical practice guidelines and task forces; she was a bioethics consultant for the Canadian government regarding medical assistance in dying (MAiD) legislation, and is currently serving as bioethicist on a long-term care COVID taskforce for the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services for which she was recently commissioned a “Kentucky Colonel” by Governor Beshear in recognition of her service. Dr. Rosenthal presents widely on bioethics issues to national and international audiences and is interviewed frequently in the media.


For more information on the Markey Cancer Center Oncology Ethics Program, please email M. Sara Rosenthal, PhD.

NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - A Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Markey Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – a distinction that recognizes our commitment to accelerating precision cancer research and care to patients. We are the first and only NCI-Comprehensive Cancer Center in Kentucky, and one of 57 in the nation.