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The new, enhanced UMHS Ethics committee was featured in the Office of Clinical Affairs "Chief Brief." According to the article, "ECCA members complimented the committee’s improved access to ethics consultation services, focus on proactive and preventative ethics education, and unification of adult and pediatric efforts. Since the programmatic rollout, there has been a 45 percent increase in clinical ethics consultation volume from the prior year, and an 82 percent increase from average of the prior five years." Dr. Andrew Shuman and Dr. Christian Vercler are the co-directors of CBSSM's Program in Clinical Ethics. Dr. Janice Firn is the clinical ethicist who manages the program on a daily basis.

Dr. Andrew Barnosky stepped down from his role as Adult Ethics Committee chair, which is a position he has served for the last 16 years. CBSSM Faculty member Dr. Andrew G. Shuman will be the new committee chair. Dr. Barnosky will continue as a member of the faculty and a member of the Committee. The UMHS press release can be found here.

Press Kit


CBSSM acts at the premier intellectual gathering place of clinicians, social scientists, bioethicists, and all others interested in improving individual and societal health through scholarship and service.

Schedule an Interview

Members of the media interested in interviewing Center members can call the UMHS Public Relations office at 734-764-2220 between the hours 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, or email us directly at

CBSSM is soliciting applications from qualified individuals for 1-2 postdoctoral research fellow positions for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The mission of CBSSM is to be the premier intellectual gathering place of clinicians, social scientists, bioethicists, and all others interested in improving individual and societal health through scholarship and service.

Bioethics Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Active projects in bioethics at CBSSM currently include the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomic medicine, human subjects research ethics, empirical research with relevance to clinical ethics, global bioethics, gender equity, reproductive justice, deliberative democratic methods in bioethics, resource allocation, ethical issues associated with learning health systems, and the sociology of medical ethics/bioethics, among others. Candidates' area of focus must be in bioethics, although their backgrounds may be in social or natural sciences, humanities, medicine, or law.

Decision Sciences Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
This fellowship focuses on understanding and improving the health care communication and decisions made by both patients and providers. Past postdoctoral fellows have included scholars whose research in health care communication and decision making has been approached using theories drawn from social cognition, motivation and emotion, risk communication, human factors, ethics, and economics.

Postdoctoral fellows are expected to collaborate on established projects and are encouraged to conduct independent research with an emphasis on study inception, manuscript writing, and applying for grants. CBSSM’s resources and collaborative support enable fellows to build their own research programs.

Please see: for more details about these fellowship opportunities.


We are announcing available positions for faculty ethicists in our Clinical Ethics Service. This service is hosted by CBSSM and provides the resources to expand and improve existing clinical ethics services across the institution.

Andrew Shuman, MD and Christian Vercler, MD are the Co-Directors/Leads of the Clinical Ethcs Service.

The detailed descriptions of the open positions can be found below. Application submission deadline is September 25, 2017, with a starting date of January 1, 2018.

Faculty Ethicist Positions





The University of Michigan Decision Consortium Conference is scheduled for Monday, May 16, in Room R0320, Ross School of Business, 700 Tappan Street.  Advance registration is required.  Contact Mary Mohrbach at

Caring for an ailing spouse may prolong your life. Stephanie Brown explains her research in a vodcast, featured on the University of Michigan website: This vodcast was, appropriately, the university's home page lead for the week of Thanksgiving.

Pediatric Ethics Committee

The Michigan Medicine Committee advisory groups are appointed by the Hospital's Office of Clinical Affairs. They review ethical or moral questions that may come up during a pediatrics patient's care. The consultants facilitate communication among patients, their families and the treatment team to assist everyone in making appropriate choices when difficult decisions need to be made. The Committee's goal is to help everyone decide the right thing to do. The Michigan Medicine Ethics Committee is a sub-committee of the Executive Committee on Clinical Affairs as determined by the Medical Staff Bylaws. 

About Us

The committee is available for consultation to family members, patients, staff, and health care providers. The committee may help you and your child’s medical team clarify facts, examine ethical issues, and assist in the resolution of disagreements about your child’s care. The committee includes people with additional training in medical ethics, doctors, nurses, social workers, a lawyer, a chaplain, an administrator, and members of the community
The University of Michigan has a Pediatric Ethics Committee because the best medical care requires not only medical skill but good moral judgment. The Committee’s main purpose is to offer help and guidance on moral and ethical questions, such as:

  • Should treatment be started or stopped?
  • How much should a child be told about his or her disease?
  • Is the promise of treatment worth the suffering it may cause?
  • What is the best thing to do when we must face the end of life?
  • What happens when a meeting with the Ethics Committee is requested?

The consultants on call review the patient's medical situation and treatment options. In addition, concerns and feelings of the patient, family members, and the health care team are discussed. Members of the committee may visit with patients, families and medical personnel to discuss these concerns.

Ethics Committee members discuss the information which has been gathered. The Ethics Committee makes suggestions about the best course of action. Often there are a number of options available in the course of a patient's care. Final decisions are made by the patient, family and the health care team.

The Pediatric Ethics Committee meets on the first Tuesday of the month from 12-1:30pm at University Hospital in dining rooms C&D. If you would like to attend as a guest, please contact Amy Lynn @

Request a Consult

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Call 734-615-1379
After normal business hours, please call 936-6267 and ask for the clinical ethicist on call to be paged.


Financial Assistance

Withdrawal and Withholding of Medical Treatment

Committee Bylaws


For upcoming Bioethics Grand Rounds see Events


Lauren Smith, MD


Dr. Lauren Smith is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan specializing in hematopathology. She is Director of the Ethics Path of Excellence at the Medical School. She has been a member of the University of Michigan Adult Ethics Committee since 2005 and also serves as a Faculty Ethicist in CBSSM's Clinical Ethics Service. She is Chair of the Michigan State Medical Society Ethics Committee. Her research interests include ethical issues in clinical medicine and pathology.

Research Interests: 
Last Name: 

CBSSM affiliated faculty & fellows are well-represented at the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) Annual Meeting. Presentations below by Stephanie Kukora, Naomi Laventhal, Lauren Smith, Ed Goldman, Raymond De Vries, Chrsitan, Vercler, Andrew Shuman, Sally Salari, Kayte Spector-Bagdady, Susan Goold and Reshma Jagsi.

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Stephanie Kukora, MD
"Pre-conference workshop- Re-imagining Communication: Using Medical Improv to Boost Your Skills for Clinical Ethics Consultation"

Stephanie Kukora, MD/ Sharla Rent, MD
"Preparing for Periviability: When Does Life Begin in A Global Context?"

Christin Lawrence, DO; Dalia M. Feltman, MD, MA; Naomi T. Laventhal, MD, MA
"Uncertainty at the Margin of Gestational Viability: How Does Ethical Culture Shade Decisions for Infants in the Gray Zone"

Naomi T. Laventhal, MD, MA; Christin M. Lawrence, DO; Stephanie K. Kukora, MD
"The Many Faces of Prognostic Uncertainty: A Case for a Broader Model of Antenatal Consultation"

Lauren Smith, MD/ Ed Goldman, JD
"Dr. House: Ethical and Legal Issues Faced by Doctors Identified in the Media"

Naomi Laventhal, MD/ Phoebe Danziger, MD
"The Martyred Mother: Creation and Perpetuation of Gender, Racial, and Socioeconomic Bias in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit"

Ray De Vries, PhD
"Embracing the Electronic Fetal Monitor: The Treacherous Pursuit of Certainty in the Uncertain World of Birth"

Janice I. Firn, PhD, LMSW; Naomi Laventhal, MD; Katherine Feder, MS; Salomeh Salari, MS; Kunal Bailoor, BA; Christian Vercler, MD, MA, MA; Andrew Shuman, MD
"Expanding the Role and Institutional Impact of Hospital Ethics Committees Through Practical Application of the Three-Tiered, Proactive Ethics Framework"

Christian Vercler, MD
"Snapchat Surgeons & Normal Genitalia: Parallels with the Freak Show"

Kayte Spector-Bagdady, JD, MBE
Clinical Research Ethics Consultation Affinity Group

Christian Vercler, MD
"The Narrative turn in Surgical Consent"

Susan Dorr Goold, MD
"Does Deliberation Make a Difference in Setting Health Priorities?"

Stephanie Kukora, MD
"Use of Medical Improv with Clinical Ethics Consultants
to Foster Role Insights, Perspective-Taking, and Communication Skills"

Phoebe Danzinger, MD/Naomi Laventhal, MD
"All-Natural, GMO-Free Babies: Tensions Between Parent and Clinician Uncertainty in the Prevention of Neonatal Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding"

Katherine J. Feder, M.S.; Salomeh M. Salari, M.S.; Elizabeth Karikomi, MSW; Naomi T. Laventhal, M.D., M.A.; Janice I. Firn, Phd, MSW
"Use of Preventative Ethics Rounds to Anticipate Ethical Dilemmas in the ICU: Implications for Critical Care Culture, Patients, and Hospital Ethics Committees"

Naomi Laventhal, MD
"Dismissal as an Acceptable Response to Vaccine Refusal: Ethical Considerations of the AAP Clinical Report, "Countering Vaccine Hesitancy"

Lauren Smith, MD/Reshma Jagsi, MD
"VIP Medicine: Ethical Issues in Concierge Medicine and Fundraising"

Kunal Bailoor, BA; Salomeh Salari, MS; Janice Firn, MSW, PhD; Christian Vercler, MD, MA; Andrew G. Shuman, MD
"Integrating a Predoctoral Clinical Ethics Fellowship into a Medical School Curriculum"


Research Topics: