Vision, Mission, Values

June 1, 2020: Standing up against racism and injustice

Dear Ethics Colleagues,

The murder of George Floyd is a grim reminder that there is an urgent need for ethics leaders to take a stand against all forms of discrimination and violence committed against people of color. We cannot be silent. We must be vocal, and we must be active. While we believe that every human life is special and sacred, in 2020 we live in a nation where people of color bear the brunt of political injustice. To maintain the status quo is therefore to perpetuate injustice.

We have had all too many opportunities both to speak out and to examine our own reactions to this and similar atrocities and inequities. It is hard to accept that we have made so little progress. We must do more than sit back and process the terrible events around us. The end of ethics is always action, for to be ethical is to act in a way that is right and good.

Please join us in committing, within the Center for Ethics and as members of the greater ethics community, to opposing racist, sexist, and other unfairly biased activities. Join us in support of the efforts of Dr. Danny Jacobs, OHSU’s president, to secure a more just society. Join us in doing the hard work of looking inward and attempting to identify the manifold ways we unconsciously or consciously participate in racist structures. Join us in opposing despair and hopelessness and in speaking out and remaining optimistic that we can change, both as a community and as a nation.

On a related note and in regards to patient care, the COVID-19 pandemic shines a bright light on health disparities, as Melissa Monner, Senior Scholar at the OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care, describes in her recent webinar: COVID-19 and Particularly Vulnerable People: A Patient Advocate Perspective.

Susan W. Tolle, MD
Tyler Tate, MD, MA


The OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care envisions health care that is compassionate, just and respectful.


To improve the health care of our community by serving as a resource for ethics education, professionalism and compassionate communication in health care.


  • Integrity
  • Dignity and respect for persons
  • Justice
  • Moral courage


  • Collaboration among health care professionals
  • Empowerment of the patient
  • Inclusivity and diversity across campus
  • Compassionate communication

Conflict of interest

The founders established that the Center be unencumbered by funding from the health care industry or other commercial interests. To assure the independent voice and the promise made by the founding faculty, any and all gifts, grants and donations to programs administered or housed in the Center are held to this high standard. The relationships created by gifts and donations from individuals and organizations must avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest.

Center for Ethics in Health Care Conflict of Interest Policy

Strategic plan

The Center for Ethics in Health Care monitors its directions, goals, and resources to plan for the next phase of growth for the Center. In 2016, a careful review of the Center's plan was undertaken by leadership. The revisions made are a map to continue the vision, mission, values, and aspirations of the Center for Ethics in Health Care.

Center for Ethics in Health Care Strategic Plan 2017-2019