The Center for Bioethics and Humanities is entering an exciting new phase of growth and is greatly expanding our research enterprise though the hiring of new faculty, adding research support staff, developing an empirical research-focused post-doctoral training program, and expanding our educational offerings in the areas of research methods, research ethics and academic scholarship.  

Research issues and topics that are of interest and relevance include, but are not limited to, ethical issues associated with: shared decision making, informed consent, methods for engaging patients and other stakeholders, use of narrative methods for teaching and practice, stewardship of health care resources, physician professionalism, public health ethics, big data, assessment of value, measurement of the ethical climate in organizations, transplant ethics, genetics, and end of life care.  Topics of special interest in the state of Colorado and at the University recently include those around medical aid in dying, legalization of recreational marijuana and nuances of inter-professional team-based training.


The NIH awarded associate professor Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, a major grant, Ethical Considerations in Use of Artificial Intelligence in End-of-Life Decision Making, to investigate the ethical questions raised by using artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the timing or certainty of death.  AI, by interacting with patients’ electronic medical records and other data, promises to improve diagnosis, treatment and prognosis for many conditions. However, AI is also relatively untested. There are questions about whether AI will expand or restrict patients’ autonomous decision-making and whether it will operate in a biased manner toward some patients. With a talented research team, DeCamp aims to promote the ethical use of AI in end-of-life care with a series of interviews, surveys, and a consensus panel. Click for grant details>>


The Greenwall Foundation selected CBH Research Director Eric Campbell, PhD, for one of six "Making A Difference," grants for, A Novel Methodology to Explore Bioethics Issues in Physician Aid-in-Dying (PAD).  PAD is a highly contentious issue in bioethics and health policy today. Data on physicians’ experiences and assessment of key bioethical issues in PAD derive from small, qualitative studies rather than from quantitative studies due to high costs of large physician surveys and concerns about anonymity. We aim to develop and test a novel efficient, low cost, anonymous methodology to facilitate bioethics-related physician surveys. This study will result in generalizable findings that bring bioethics into policy and decision-making processes about PAD.  Click for grant details >>​


As pressure to "reopen America," continues, the pandemic shows signs of worsening.  Sports programs at all levels are grappling with difficult decisions about return to sports policies. The Greenwall Foundation awarded their 2020 Presidential Grant to Dr. Christine Baugh, PhD, MPH, to explore the ethical issues surrounding college football, including health consequences for players, staff and fans.  Click for grant details>>


The Greenwall Foundation has awarded a grant to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to examine the ethical challenges of mass administration of antibiotics—an intervention that could save the lives of children in low- and middle-income countries, but that could potentially pose risks to the broader community and the children themselves later in life by making those same antibiotics less effective for treating bacterial infections. Led by Anthony So, MD, MPA, professor of International Health at the Bloomberg School, and Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, the project aims to develop a bioethics framework, informed by key stakeholder interviews and expert consultations that will serve to shape the decision-making of funders, researchers, and communities around the mass drug administration of antibiotics.  Click for grant details>>


The Chatbot Is In: Ethics and Conversational AI in Health Care, awarded to Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhDClick for grant details>>

The NIH awarded associate professor Megan A. Morris, PhD, MPH, CCC-SLP, the grant: Implementation of Communication Disability Collection and Accommodations in Primary Care Settings. Patients with disabilities, including communication disabilities, are at significant risk for poor health and health care outcomes. In order to identify and intervene on potential disparities, health care organizations need to systematically collect and record patients’ disability status in the electronic health record. The aim of the grant is to test implementation strategies consistent collection of communication disability status and then use of the information to provide federally-required health care accommodations. The multi-site trial in primary care settings will make an important contribution in advancing the science and practice of health care equity for patients with disabilities. Click for grant details>> 

Megan A. Morris, PhD, MPH is the site-PI for a recently funded large NIH study titled: Healthcare Organizational Structural Conditions and the Health of People Recently Released from Prison. Using innovative qualitative case-study approaches, as well as a prospective cohort sample, the project will provide critical information on structural racism and discrimination conditions in health care organizations that negatively impact the quality of health and health care of people released from prison. Research has demonstrated the devastating effects of poor health outcomes experienced by people released from prison. Factors such as stigma and access barriers likely influence these outcomes. The findings from this study will help identify these barriers, measure their effects, and identify solutions. Click for grant details>>

The Center has productive inter-professional relationships in place that focus on teaching, scholarship, and cutting-edge research; we hope to foster and extend those partnerships to create a world class empirical research enterprise in bioethics and the health humanities.

We also provide a free Research Ethics Consult Service​ sponsored by the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI). 

Using Virtual Platforms to Engage Stakeholders in Research; Data Science to Patient Value (D2V) Symposium Proceedings, 2018.

If you have any questions about the ongoing or future research initiatives at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, please email our Director of Research, Eric G. Campbell, PhD​​.

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