The Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the Medical College of Wisconsin, established in 1982 as one of the first centers of its kind in the nation, was created to nurture a multidisciplinary approach to the complex challenges facing health care professionals, patients, and policy makers.
Initially, much of the Center's work focused on helping physicians and health care institutions analyze and resolve difficult ethical issues that arise at the bedside in individual patient cases. While a significant portion of our efforts continue to address this need, the Center's work has grown to include conceptual and empirical research on key bioethics issues of regional, national, and international importance; education of the next generation of bioethicists through the Center's graduate programs; the ethics training of medical students, residents and fellows at the Medical College of Wisconsin and its affiliated institutions; and consultation and outreach to civic, health care, and professional organizations and policy makers throughout the United States.
The demand for and appreciation of each of these components of our work have expanded greatly over the years. Health care professionals and students, academicians, business people, community and spiritual leaders, policy makers, researchers and others increasingly acknowledge that the wide scope and critical importance of pressing bioethics and medical humanities questions demand careful thought and analysis. The Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities is positioned well to help all of us face the challenges that lie ahead.