A Department of Medical
Ethics: Arthur Caplan
Arthur Rubenstein, EVP of UPHS and Dean of the School of
Medicine, has announced the creation of a Department of Medical
Ethics, which will provide the academic home for the world-renowned
Center for Bioethics. Dr. Arthur Caplan, the Emanuel and
Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics, will serve as the newly-created
department's first Chairman.
The Department of Medical Ethics--the first to be dedicated
to medical ethics at an academic medical center--was created
to provide an academic home base for Penn faculty conducting research
on ethical issues in medicine and the life sciences. The new department--with
14 full- and part-time faculty members--is one of the largest
programs of its kind in the world. It will build on and complement
the work of the many Center faculty who are drawn from a variety
of academic and clinical disciplines. The Department of Medical
Ethics positions Penn Bioethics as the undisputed leader in bioethics
research and its use in the practice of medicine and life sciences.
its establishment in 1994 as an interdisciplinary unit of Penn's
School of Medicine, the Center for Bioethics has grown--under
Dr. Caplan's leadership--into a world-renowned educational
force, advancing scholarly and public understanding of ethical,
legal, social and public policy issues in medicine and the life
Center is Penn's voice of bioethics to the world," explains
Dr. Caplan. "It is also the way the School of Medicine is able
to interact on an educational front with other schools, programs
and university units--outside the world of medicine--who
are interested in bioethics, as well as with the community and the
general public. The focus of the Center has not changed. However,
with the increasing number of bioethics faculty teaching in the
School of Medicine, the rapid growth of the Masters of Bioethics
Program, the undertaking of an undergraduate program and the future
prospect of a Ph.D. program in Bioethics, it became critical to
have a department home for bioethics at the School of Medicine."
Caplan's goals for the new department are ambitious: "
... to use the department to better integrate bioethics into the
Health System and the School of Medicine, to improve our teaching
of residents ... to continue to expand our undergraduate teaching
and opportunities for internships and to attract philanthropic support
in response to the University's commitment to this new department."
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 7, October 8, 2002