Dorothy E. Vawter Associate Director


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DOROTHY E. VAWTER, PHD, is Associate Director of the Minnesota Center for Health Care Ethics and lead ethics consultant for Fairview Health Services. Dr. Vawter was the principal investigator of an NIH funded project on ethical and policy issues in the study, use and financing of deep brain stiumation for Parkinson’s disease. She co-directed a community-wide ethics project (sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health) on rationing health care resources in a severe pandemic and is the lead author of For the Good of Use All: Ethically Rationing Health Resources in Minnesota in a Severe Influenza Pandemic. Directing MCHCE’s work on cross-cultural health care ethics, Vawter is co-editor of the award winning book Healing by Heart: Clinical and Ethical Case Stories of Hmong Families and Western Providers. Other scholarly work is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Hastings Center Report, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, The American Journal of Bioethics, IRB, Transfusion, Cell Transplantation, The American Journal of Managed Care, and Minnesota Medicine.

Dr. Vawter completed her doctoral studies in philosophy at Georgetown University and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. In addition to holding appointments at several medical schools, she served on the staff of three federal advisory boards charged with developing policy recommendations for the protection of human subjects: the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects in Biomedical and Behavioral Research; the Ethics Advisory Board; and the President’s Commission on Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research. Her research interests include cross-cultural health care ethics, research with human subjects – with special attention to surgical research, disaster ethics, organizational ethics, professional integrity, advance care planning and end-of-life decision-making, and organ/tissue donation and transplantation.