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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Veteran Surgeon, Medical Ethicist Named to Lead Bioethics Program at the Ethics Center

SANTA CLARA, CALIF., USA, July 15, 2020 / --
Santa Clara University has named Dr. Charles Binkley as the director of the Bioethics Program at the University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

As a surgeon, Dr. Binkley’s work focuses on professional autonomy, health care quality, and the ethical application and equitable distribution of biotechnology. He also has an interest in the medical humanities, particularly physician morality and human suffering as they are embodied in film and literature.

In his new role, Dr. Binkley is responsible for the vision, strategy, fundraising, and leadership of the Bioethics Program at the Ethics Center. He will report to Executive Director Don Heider.

“Dr. Binkley’s extensive experience and deep passion for values-driven health care will be a valuable asset in the Ethic Center’s mission to help individuals and organizations make choices that respect and care for others, particularly in the depths of a global pandemic and facing a presidential election in which health care will be a key issue,” said Heider.

During his tenure as a surgeon at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, Dr. Binkley served in roles including Chairman of the Medical Center Ethics Committee, President of the Professional Staff, and Chief of Inpatient Quality. He led the clinical ethics consultation service at the San Francisco Medical Center and contributed to ethics policy development and implementation on state and regional levels. He has been an invited speaker at medical centers and hospitals in the United States and internationally, and acted as an ethics consultant to the American Gastroenterological Association.
Dr. Binkley also served on the Committee on Ethical, Legal, and Judicial Affairs of the California Medical Association, as well as on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Medical Society, and the program committee of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

His writings have appeared in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Annals of Surgery, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Cancer Research, Verdict,, and he is a regular contributor to Dr. Binkley is also the founder and principal of ProNobis Health, a health and medical provider consulting firm.

After completing his undergraduate degree in Classics and Philosophy at St. Meinrad Seminary, Dr. Binkley attended Georgetown University School of Medicine, graduating magna cum laude. He completed his surgery residency at the University of Michigan, spending two years as an NIH-sponsored Gastrointestinal Surgery Fellow.

Dr. Binkley is available to provide commentary to members of the media on topical issues and ethical dilemmas associated with his expertise.

About the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Founded in 1986 with a seed grant and initial endowment from Linda and A.C. “Mike” Markkula Jr., the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics brings the traditions of ethical thinking to bear on real world problems. Beyond a full range of programs for the Santa Clara University community, the Center also serves professionals in fields from business to health care, from government to the social sector, providing innovative approaches to problems from fake news to privacy protection. Through its website and international collaborations, the Center brings ethical decision-making resources to the wider world. For more information, see

About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Assis. SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see

Joel Dibble
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara Univ.
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Jul 15, 2020