Fabrice Jotterand

Fabrice Jotterand, PhD, MA

Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities; Director, Graduate Program in Bioethics


  • Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

Contact Information


BTh, HET-PRO Haute Ecole de Théologie (formerly Institut Emmaüs)
MA, Cum Laude, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
MA, McGill University
PhD (with distinction), Rice University


“Ethics in health science education is more than compliance to rules and norms. It is about character development and the acquisition of the intellectual habits that will define one’s path in clinical practice and biomedical research.”
- Fabrice Jotterand, PhD, MA

Dr. Fabrice Jotterand joined MCW in 2016 where he is Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities and serves as Director of the Graduate Program in Bioethics. He is also the resident philosopher at the MCW Kern Institute where he directs the Philosophies of Medical Education Transformation Laboratory (P-METaL). At Kern his work examines the importance of character formation and practical wisdom in the moral development of future physicians as well as how the philosophy of medicine contributes to medical professionalism. He holds a second appointment as Senior Researcher at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He is originally from Switzerland but moved to the United States in 1995 for his education and subsequent academic career.

Under his leadership, the Graduate Program in Bioethics is committed to promoting a tradition of academic excellence and fostering a student-centered learning environment. Recognizing that our modern health care system is evolving at a time when our efforts to deliver high-quality, cost-effective patient centered care are becoming increasingly complex and expensive, he provides guidance and mentorship to MCW graduate students in bioethics to examine these challenges in order to enhance their clinical practice. Advances in the biomedical sciences and biotechnology are in greater demand by patients and healthcare professionals who see them as essential to the delivery of quality care and better outcomes. Efforts to maintain these expectations in our modern health care environment are likely to raise ethical, legal, and policy challenges for everyone as resources dwindle. The increasing reliance on innovation and adoption of powerful biotechnologies to meet these expectations require a critical and interdisciplinary analysis through the lens of bioethical inquiry.

Dr. Jotterand’s experience as an educator has been fostered by more than fifteen years of teaching courses in bioethics, neuroethics and medical humanities. He brings his experience to the service of MCW, the broader Milwaukee community, and the students in the Graduate Program in Bioethics. Educated in Switzerland, Canada, and the United States, he brings an international, multicultural and multidisciplinary perspective on issues pertaining to medicine and health care delivery, essential in our pluralistic society.

Dr. Jotterand’s scholarship and research interests focus on issues including neuroethics, ethical issues in psychiatry and mental health, the use of neurotechnologies in psychiatry, the philosophy of medicine, medical professionalism, neurotechnologies and human identity, and moral/political philosophy. He has published more than 80 articles and book chapters as well as reviews in leading academic journals and has published 8 books. Edited books: The Philosophy of Medicine Reborn: A Pellegrino Reader (Notre Dame, 2008); Emerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in Bionanotechnology (Springer, 2008); The Development of Bioethics in the United States (Springer, 2013); Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical and Policy Implications in International Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2016); Intelligent Assistive Technologies for Dementia: Clinical, Ethical, Social and Regulatory Implications (Oxford University Press, 2019); Artificial Intelligence in Brain and Mental Health: Philosophical, Ethical & Policy Issues (Springer, 2022). He is the author of a monograph entitled The Unfit Brain and the Limits of Moral Bioenhancement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) which focuses on the ethical and social implications of the potential use of neurotechnologies in psychiatry to alter brain functions to address so-called “moral pathologies” (antisocial, aggressive, and harmful behavior; psychopathic traits). In addition, he is the co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Human Enhancement (Routledge 2023).

His present research focuses on a book project (tentative title: The Human as a Project?: Confronting the Zeitgeist of Modern Medicine) that examines issues at the intersection of philosophical anthropology, emerging technologies, and medicine, with a particular focus on what anthropological framework(s) should guide the education of future physicians and clinical practice considering the increasing integration of powerful technology in medicine. He is also the Co-Principal Investigator of a research project funded by the Kern Institute called “Practical Wisdom through the Eyes of Medical Students and Physicians Who Teach Them” whose goal is “to investigate the attitudes, perceptions and experiences of medical students, physicians in training, and faculty physicians regarding practical wisdom.”

He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, on the Editorial Board of Archives of Public Health, on the Editorial Board of Open Health, and on the Editorial Board of Nanoethics. He is the founding co-editor of the book series Advances in Neuroethics (Springer).

Dr. Jotterand is married and is the proud father of four children. He is an accomplished triathlete and runner, completing two Ironmans and six marathons. He completed his PhD at Rice University and a Master in Bioethics at McGill University.