Skip to main content
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Bioethics Programs

Students explain bioethics issues from stem cell use to recombinant DNA-enhanced biofuel at a poster session.

Bioethics programs at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics grow out of close work with partner hospitals and the biotechnology sector in the Silicon Valley.

The Center supports leaders in health care and biotech in creating trustworthy professions and organizations through responsible decision-making.  We serve on bioethics committees, conduct policy reviews, and provide consultations for health care professionals, patients, and families.

Our partner hospitals also host our Health Care Ethics Internship Program, which allows SCU students to learn first-hand about ethical issues that arise in the clinical setting. Beyond medical ethics, we also focus on emerging ethical issues in biotechnology through lectures, research, and consulting.

Health Care Ethics Internship

Through the Health Care Ethics Internship, SCU students shadow health care ethics professionals in hospital and hospice settings, learning firsthand about ethical issues in medical care.

Honzel Fellowship

The Honzel Fellow serves as a peer mentor to students in the Health Care Ethics Internship and develops an ethics project with particular relevance to students and alumni.

Caring for Vulnerable Patients

Our health care ethics programs have a special focus on patients who are at risk in the health care system.  Our Conserved Patient Project addressed the ethical, legal, and medical issues surrounding the care of people in the care of public conservators. Our program on Culturally Competent Care explored the ethical challenges for health care institutions providing services for Hispanic and Muslim patients.  Center staff have research interests patients who have no friends or family to represent their interests and in medically ineffective care.

Pandemic Ethics

Pandemics create ethical quandaries for society, as traditional approaches like first-come-first-served care may need to be jettisoned in favor of ethically difficult triage. The Center creates resources for confronting the dilemmas posed by pandemics.  The Pandemic Ethics Toolkit was developed in conjunction with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to prepare for a possible flu pandemic, and we also offer a series of case studies on dealing with seasonal and pandemic flu. Thinking Ethically About MRSA explores the best way to deal with an outbreak of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.