Since 1989 the OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care has partnered with practitioners of all health professions regionally and nationally to be a leading voice for compassionate health care.  The Center is committed to providing an ethical perspective of compassion, respect and justice to ensure that such care is delivered wisely and well.

Dr. Katie Stowers

Congratulations to the new Interim Director, Dr. Katie Stowers! Dr. Stowers is the Ronald W. Naito Director in Serious Illness Education. Dr. Katie Stowers is incredibly gifted in her communication expertise, teaching skills, and leadership abilities. Dr. Stowers is passionate about teaching doctors and health care professionals how talk clearly and compassionately to patients and their families who are living with serious illness, in a way that empowers patients to make decision about their care that is right for them.  She also leads the OHSU Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship program.

Upcoming Events

March 12, 2024Madeline Brill Nelson Speaker Series: "Advancing Healthcare Equity Through Communication: What we can learn from Palliative Care Principles, Evidence, and Tools" presented by Justin Sanders, MD, MSc, FAAHPM. This will be a hybrid event. OHSU AUD260 or WebEx 

April 25, 2024 - 2024 Kinsman Bioethics ConferenceEveryday Ethics: Reconnecting, Reimagining our Roots, and Recovering our Purpose. This event will be a virtual via WebEx. Register here!

Friday, May 10, 2024 at 8:00 amOregon Bioethics and Humanities Colloquium (OBHC) presents: "Justice Rising: A Moral Imagination for a More Trustworthy Bioethics" by Kevin Dirksen, MDiv, MSc, Providence Center for Health Care Ethics. This event will be virtual.

Friday, June 14, 2024 at 8:00 amOregon Bioethics and Humanities Colloquium (OBHC) presents: "Outliers and Outlaws: Supporting LGBTQ Elders" by Judith Raiskin, PhD, University of Oregon. This event will be virtual.

Friday, February 9, 2024 at 8:00 amOregon Bioethics and Humanities Colloquium (OBHC) presents: "Dementia Through a Lens of Relational Agency" by Eran Klein, MD, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University.  View the recording HERE

Friday, January 12, 2024 at 8:00 amOregon Bioethics and Humanities Colloquium (OBHC) presents: "Taking Carework Seriously in Bioethics: The Case of US Nurses During the Pandemic" by LaTonya Trotter, MPH, PhD, University of Washington. View the recording HERE.

December 8, 2023 at 8:00 am – Oregon Bioethics and Humanities Colloquium (OBHC) presents: "Structures of Justice and Fairness in Complex Disposition" presented by Georgina Campelia, PhD, HEC-C. View the recording HERE

November 10, 2023 at 8:00 am – Oregon Bioethics and Humanities Colloquium (OBHC) presents: "The History of Medical Uncertainty" presented by Vera Keller, PhD. View the recording HERE

November 06, 2023 from 8:30 am12:30 pm – virtual TalkOregon Mastering Tough Conversations CME Workshop facilitated by Katie H. Stowers, DO. Enhance your communication skills to better navigate serious illness conversations and make them more effective. Limited seats available. Registration required.

October 30, 2023 at 11:00 am at OHSU BICC Library Rm 124  - The 67th Daniel Labby Seminar in Medical Ethics presents: "Artificial Intelligence: In Your Doctor’s Office" with Dr. David Clarke as the moderator and invited comments from Dr. Steven Bedrick, OHSU Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology. 

October 5, 2023 at 8:00 am – in partnership with the OHSU Department of Pediatrics Grand Rounds, Oregon Bioethics and Humanities Colloquium (OBHC) presents: "Refusals in Pediatrics: An Ethical Analysis"  presented by Lainie Friedman Ross, MD, PhD. View the recording here: Refusals in Pediatrics: An Ethical Analysis.

September 14, 2023 at 12:00 pm - Mastering Tough Conversations Workshop: For Clinicians Caring for Seriously Ill & Aging Patients. 

June 2, 2023 at 8:00 am - The Oregon Bioethics and Humanities Colloquium (OBHC) presents: "Dismantling, Decolonizing and Deconstructing to Achieve Equity, Diversity and Inclusion" with Dr. C. Estela Vasquez Guzman, MD, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University. To view the recording of this lecture, click HERE

May 19, 2023 - The Oregon Bioethics and Humanities Colloquium (OBHC) presents: "Conceptualizing Culture in Healthcare Contexts: A Theoretical Framework" with Dr. Elaine Hsieh, PhD, JD, University of Minnesota. To view the recording of this lecture, click HERE


To read the November issue of the newsletter, click HERE.  

Impact Report

We remain full of gratitude to all those who have made this work possible. Thank you! To learn about the accomplishments and achievements of the Center for Ethics in Health Care, click HERE.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report

The Center for Ethics in Health Care, including the Oregon POLST program, faculty and staff, and Center‐associated senior scholars and communication coaches, have dedicated much time focusing on activities that contribute to OHSU’s goals of:

  • Building a diverse, equitable environment where all can thrive and excel.
  • Being the destination for transformational learning.
  • Enhancing health and health care in every community.

To read about the Center for Ethics Diversity, Equity & Inclusion activities, click HERE

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the original inhabitants and traditional village sites of the land Oregon Health & Science University is occupying and built upon: the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tumwater, Watlala bands of the Chinook, the Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla, Wasco and many Indigenous nations of the Willamette Valley and Columbia River Plateau. We take this opportunity to thank the original caretakers of this land - past, present, and future.


For questions regarding any of the upcoming events, please email Please also note that all times referenced below are in pacific time (PT).