Established in 2006, the Institute of Clinical Bioethics (ICB) at Saint Joseph’s University promotes interdisciplinary research, educational programs, academic courses, clinical consultation and policy development services in the field of bioethics. We are responsible for over 14 hospitals and healthcare facilities regionally as well as internationally. Our client services include formal lectures and classes, CME (continuing medical education) ethics programs, institutional ethics committees, institutional review boards (IRB), and 24/7 ethics consults on clinical cases that staff, patients, family and others find ethically complex. We also provide clinical ethics education for over 300 medical interns, resident fellows in various fields of medicine, such as internal medicine, emergency medicine, critical care, family medicine, podiatry, radiology, and surgery, as well as for medical and nursing students on rotation. In addition, jointly with Mercy Health System, we operate Health Promoter Program in our three locations (St. Patrick's Church, Norristown; St. Cyprian Church, Philadelphia; Divine Mercy Church, Philadelphia) to help provide health care to the increasing number of undocumented immigrants who are medically uninsured in the greater Philadelphia area, focusing on both prevention and management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, HIV, obesity and hypertension, and also dental and eye screening.
As the academic research center of Saint Joseph's University, the ICB’s faculty and fellows actively carry on Interdisciplinary Research Projects. Saint Joseph’s faculty and graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in bioethics from campus (e.g., members of the theology, philosophy, biology, interdisciplinary health services, health administration, pharmaceutical marketing and business departments) as well as professionals from our affiliated institutions are invited to participate in the ICB’s research projects. The ICB also publishes the international, peer-review, open-access journal, The Journal of Healthcare Ethics & Administration (JHEA) which reflects the issues on medicine and healthcare administration. In addition, each year the ICB holds the annual Richard A. McCormick, S.J. Bioethics Lecture. Occasionally members of the University community or the health care community of Philadelphia present the lecture; in other years, nationally-known figures in the field are invited to deliver the lecture. Some previous speakers include Edmund Pellegrino, MD., John Paris, S.J., Ph.D., Lisa Cahill, PhD., etc. The lecture is open to both the University community and the community at large.
For Saint Joseph’s undergraduate and graduate students, the ICB has the responsibility to develop programs and teach bioethics courses at all levels of the university curriculum. The undergraduate students preparing for careers in the allied health field (medical, dental, veterinary, physician assistant, nursing, etc.) gain benefit particularly from the ICB’s two programs, Interdisciplinary Health Care Ethics Minor Program and Undergraduate Fellows Program, though the programs are open to students in all majors.
The ICB’s other projects and initiatives include “Frames to Go!” (the project that sends donated used eyeglasses to people most in need in the countries such as Uganda, Nicaragua, and Sierra Leone); “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” (the initiative that distributes prenatal vitamins for pregnant women who cannot afford them in impoverished part of the greater Philadelphia area); etc.