AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

AMA Journal of Ethics. June 2017, Volume 19, Number 6: 631-634.


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About the Contributors

Theme issue: Moral Distress and Medicine

Theme Issue Editor

Subha Perni, MD, is an intern at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and will soon enter the Harvard Radiation Oncology Residency Program. A recent graduate of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, she has received awards for research in philosophy and oncology and received grant funding for research on moral distress, pancreatic cancer, and cultural differences in autonomy in medical decision making.


Wendy Austin, PhD, RN, is a professor emeritus at the Faculty of Nursing and the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. She held a Canada Research Chair in Relational Ethics in Health Care from 2003-2013. She is currently involved in arts-based dissemination of qualitative research results, such as the film Just Keep Breathing, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which was based on a narrative study of the moral distress of pediatric intensive care unit teams that she conducted with her colleagues.

Annalise Berlinger, BSN, RN, is a nurse working in chronic disease care in Madison, Wisconsin.

Nancy Berlinger, PhD, is a research scholar at the Hastings Center in Garrison, New York. She is the first author of the second edition of the Hastings Center Guidelines for Decisions on Life-Sustaining Treatment and Care Near the End of Life (Oxford University Press, 2013) and the author of Are Workarounds Ethical?: Managing Moral Problems in Health Care Systems (Oxford University Press, 2016) and After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005). She studies ethical challenges in health care work, including chronic illness, aging, and the end of life; the clinical and organizational management of problems of safety and harm; and health care access for undocumented immigrants.

Lundy Braun, PhD, is a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and Africana studies at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She taught pathology for many years, but, more recently, she has been teaching the history of race, racism, and medicine to undergraduates and medical students. Her research focuses on the history of race and genetics in medicine.

Maria Clay, PhD, is chair of the Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina, where she is also director of the Office of Clinical Skills Assessment and Education and an adjunct professor in the College of Education. She is a co-creator of the novel self-guided documentary, The Moral Distress Education Project.

BJ Crigger, PhD, is director of ethics policy for the American Medical Association and secretary to the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. Dr. Crigger was formerly editor of the Hastings Center Report and has served as chief of ethics communications for the US Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Ethics in Health Care.

Joseph J. Fins, MD, is an internist and the E. William Davis, Jr., M.D. Professor of Medical Ethics and chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

Carina Fourie, PhD, is the Benjamin Rabinowitz Assistant Professor in Medical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy’s Program on Values in Society at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Bioethics and Humanities She has published on a range of topics including moral distress, two-tiered health care, health care reform, and social-relational equality. Her research and teaching interests include theories of justice and equality, racial and gender disparities in health, public and population health ethics, and medical ethics.

Katy Giebenhain, MA, MPhil, is the associate director of communications at the Gettysburg Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the poetry + theology rubric editor for Seminary Ridge Review. She is the author of Sharps Cabaret (Mercer University Press, 2017) and is on the Gettysburg National Military Park Artist-in-Residence local committee. Her interests include narrative medicine.

Sharon Gray, BSN, PHN, RN, works as a case manager in the intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, California, where she is also a member of the bioethics committee. She is currently completing a master’s degree in bioethics at the Medical College of Wisconsin with plans to apply her nursing experience within the field of clinical ethics. She has enjoyed various roles in her nursing career but has found the most fulfilling to be her specialties of pain management and hospice and palliative care.

Katherine E. Heinze, PhD, RN, is a Hecht-Levi Postdoctoral Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics in Baltimore, where she is also a postdoctoral fellow in palliative care at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Her research focuses on promoting well-being among seriously ill children and their family members.

Heidi K. Holtz, PhD, RN, is a Hecht-Levi Postdoctoral Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics in Baltimore, where she is also a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Her research focuses on development of interventions and policies to reduce and/or prevent the frequency of burnout among health care professionals.

Edmund G. Howe III, MD, JD, is a professor of psychiatry and medicine and the director of ethics for the School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland, where he is also a senior scientist at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Ethics, chairs an institutional review board at USUHS, and sees patients at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Andrew Jameton, PhD, is professor emeritus at the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He is also on the affiliate faculty of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota. He has been working as a philosopher in health care since 1972 and now studies the environmental aspects of health care and the risks to health and civilizations from climate change.

Joan Liaschenko, PhD, RN, is a professor at the Center for Bioethics and the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where she is also the director of the ethics consultation service. She has published widely in the field of bioethics.

Matthew William McCarthy, MD, is a hospitalist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

Bonnie M. Miller, MD, MMHC, is a professor of medical education and administration and of clinical surgery at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Memphis, Tennessee, where she serves as the senior associate dean for health sciences education. She also serves as executive vice president physician for educational affairs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Miller has an interest in the moral development of physicians and has investigated moral distress in medical students.

Lynn Monrouxe, PhD, is a professor at the Chang Gung University and the director of the Chang Gung Medical Education Research Centre at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou, Taiwan. Lynn has expertise in health care education and research; her specific research interests include identities, narrative inquiry, linguistic analyses, workplace learning, professionalism, transitions into practice, and mixed-methods methodologies.

Charlotte Rees, MEd, PhD, is a professor and the director of curriculum (medicine) at the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Charlotte has expertise in health care education, workplace learning, professionalism, personal and professional identities, leadership, and qualitative methodologies.

M. Sara Rosenthal, PhD, is a professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Behavioral Science at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where she is also founding director of the Program for Bioethics and chair of the healthcare ethics committee. She is also a co-creator of the novel self-guided documentary, The Moral Distress Education Project.

Cynda H. Rushton, PhD, RN, is the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics in the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, with a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. Her current scholarship in clinical ethics focuses on moral distress and suffering of clinicians, the development of moral resilience, palliative care, and designing a culture of ethical practice.

Barry Saunders, MD, PhD, is an associate professor of social medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, where he teaches social medicine courses for medical students as well as graduate courses in humanities disciplines. He is developing a science, technology, and society curriculum that can be integrated with medical student bioscience courses with the aim of improving students’ “translational” competence. His research addresses cultural factors that shape the evidential bases of clinical work.

Malissa Shaw, MSc, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Chang Gung Medical Education Research Centre at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou, Taiwan. Malissa has experience in medical sociology and anthropology, with an emphasis on patient-doctor relations, power dynamics, medical technologies, and qualitative methodologies.

Terri Traudt, MA, MBC, is a communications consultant based in Minneapolis who specializes in bioethics. She holds a master’s degree in business communication and a master of arts degree in bioethics. Her work focuses on public awareness and education, with a specialization in advance care planning, end-of-life communications, and a narrative approach to ethics.

Eli Weber, PhD, MA, is the bioethics director for Kaiser Permanente’s Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers in Fontana and Ontario, California. He received his PhD in applied philosophy from Bowling Green State University, and he has previously served as a clinical ethicist at Beaumont Hospitals and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His research interests include moral distress, medical futility, palliative care, and end-of-life decision making.