Welcome to UCSF Bioethics
Welcome to UCSF Bioethics

An interdisciplinary community of clinicians, researchers, and educators addressing ethical questions in health and biomedical research.

UCSF Bioethics connects faculty, staff, students, and trainees from across UCSF, creating a protected space for moral reflection that spans the university’s professional schools and health system. Faculty members conduct original research and policy analysis on a wide range of topics. They consult on moral and ethical concerns while embedded within bioscience or clinical projects. They devise strategies to effectively incorporate patient and citizen input into ongoing governance of science, clinical practice, and public health practice. And they provide a Research Ethics Consultation Service and direct educational programs for UCSF’s four professional schools.

In all of these settings, our faculty members seek to answer this question: How can we ensure the ethical use of our ever-expanding technological prowess?

September Faculty Spotlight:
Lori Freedman, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences

I am a medical sociologist whose research straddles bioethics and the field of sexual and reproductive health care. I am based within Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a program of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UCSF. I am also a Greenwall Faculty Scholar alum. 

My work investigates how our social structure and medical culture shape the delivery of reproductive care. My first book, Willing and Unable: Doctors’ Constraints in Abortion Care, is a qualitative investigation of the challenges of integrating abortion into physician practice. Unexpected findings from these interviews led me to research and write about the intersection of religion and health care, especially in the case of Catholic-owned hospitals where conscience rights are ascribed to institutions rather than individual clinicians and patients. Synthesizing several years of study, drawing heavily from qualitative interviews I conducted with patient and physicians, my forthcoming book, Bishops and Bodies: Reproductive Care in American Catholic Hospitals, lends insight into how religious institutional policies for reproductive care can be hidden from view, medically substandard, and/or obstructive to patient autonomy and wellbeing.

Past Faculty Spotlights:
August 2022 - Krista Harrison, PhD
July 2022 - Anna Chodos, MD, MPH
June 2022 - Sara Ackerman, PhD, MPH