Across the globe, bioethicists are passionately researching answers to new challenges, asking difficult questions and uncovering new approaches that may one day alter how we address the most critical health issues of our time. And while most do not enter or stay in the field of bioethics searching for praise or accolades, it’s important and necessary. Awards uplift and celebrate individual achievements and encourage and inspire rising stars to continue to be bold, creative and strive to make a meaningful difference in the world. Spotlighting success stories also helps raise awareness about a field that is constantly and rapidly evolving and shed light on key emerging bioethical issues.
In 2019, the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, and the Department of Philosophy at Rice University created the Baruch A. Brody Lecture in Bioethics to recognize junior and mid-level scholars who have made important theoretical contributions to the field of bioethics. This award is named in honor of Dr. Baruch A. Brody, one of America’s leading bioethicists, whose foundational work helped establish bioethics as a rigorous, interdisciplinary area of study worthy of national commissions, academic departments, and public trust.
He served on the Rice faculty from 1975 to 2018, when he became professor emeritus, and as chair of the Department of Philosophy from 1975 to 1982. He was founding director of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor from 1982 until 2012. He also served as director of Houston Methodist Hospital’s joint venture with Baylor, the Biomedical Ethics Program, from 1985 until 2012.
A cross-disciplinary representation from the three institutions sits on the selection committee. Awardees embody the values and virtues central to Dr. Brody’s life, produce high quality, original work that is significant and impactful, and demonstrate leadership in shaping the future of bioethics. The individual will also give a lecture on a topic of their choosing.
Past award recipients include:
- 2021/2022: Govind Persad, J.D., Ph.D.,assistant professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar in Bioethics, who lectured on “Fair Allocation in an Unfair World: The Ethics of Allocating Scarce Medical Resources”
- 2020/2021: Camisha Russell, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oregon and a co-editor of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, who lectured on “Meeting the Moment: Bioethics in the Time of Black Lives Matter”
- 2019/2020: Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBE, from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, who lectured on “Conflicts of Conscience and Implications for Physicians’ Gatekeeping Authority”
If you know a bioethics researcher who is changing how people think and/or practice medicine or engage in biomedical research kindly take a few minutes and submit a nomination! They very well might be our next award recipient!
The call for nominations period remains open until July 22, 2022. The fourth annual award presentation and lecture will take place at Houston Methodist on Feb. 7, 2023, at noon. The lecture will also be live streamed. Attendees will be able to register for the lecture through our website.
By Karen Lynn Frumovitz, JD, Program Management Associate, Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy