Center for Bioethics


Bioethics Reference Center

The Center for Bioethics at Indiana University School of Medicine collects reviews, presentations, conferences and reports on important bioethics-related topics to be used as resources for physicians, medical researchers, trainees and other interested individuals.

Long-form resources offering guidance on bioethics include the Guide to Doing Research in Bioethics and Guide to Doing Research in International Research Ethics.


The Center for Bioethics offers programs throughout the year on a range of topics related to ethics in medical research and patient care.



Individuals seeking recent presentations and information on research ethics can find guidance and insight on the TREATs (Translational Research Ethics: Applied Topics) Seminars page.
Seminar in Research Ethics

Seminar in Research Ethics

The Pediatric Research Ethics Seminar Series meets five times per year to cover topics in research ethics that are relevant to fellows and other trainees in pediatrics.

BioResearch Tissue

Scores of health data can be gained from the tiniest biospecimen, but how should that information be used and to whom does it belong? These are the types of questions facing researchers as they develop protocols for biobanks, decide what gets tested for in NBS screening, and discover the opportunities of stem cell research. These topics explore the ethical issues surrounding these exciting fields.

Participation in Research

Informed consent is the foundation of ethical research – from the Nuremberg Code to the Belmont Report to the Common Rule, every modern treatment of research ethics takes informed consent into account. But what does informed consent mean and how does it play out in specific circumstances? These topics help us understand the nuances of informed consent.

Patient Care

Breakthroughs in patient care happen every day, and ethics must keep up. Questions of how we deal with the information available in electronic health records, the ethics of treatments such as ECT, and the difficult ethical quandaries surrounding conscientious objection and death row organ donation are key areas for the Center of Bioethics. We explore this and more in this section.

Disease Management

What do we do in the face of health emergencies? Who gets treated and how? While these may not be the questions we want to think about, we must if we are to be responsible health advocates in the 21st century. This section explores essential medicines, pandemics, and the case of Ebola in an attempt to focus in on these larger issues.