Skip to main content
Sign In

The CU School of Medicine is top-ranked in primary care, pediatrics and family and rural medicine. We offer degrees in doctor of medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant, medical science in anesthesiology, genetic counseling, modern human anatomy.

Center for Bioethics & Humanities Banner Image

VISION (the future we seek to create)

The Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus​, is home to world-class programs that are proven to cultivate values, celebrate imagination and produce vibrant community conversations.

MISSION (the passion that drives our work)

Supporting compassionate, competent, respectful and just health care.

What We Do

The Center generates unique opportunities to create transformational learning, groundbreaking scholarship, thought-provoking art and inclusive conversations for Colorado health professionals, students, patients and communities.




ARCHIVE:  Most Arts in Medicine Lectures/Performances and Ethics Bites Discussions are recorded, and may be viewed online.  View archive​.

Spirit of the Season: Holiday Concert by the Arrhythmias Choir with 
guest vocalist Logan McKenna, on Monday December 7th from noon-
1:00pm at the Fulginiti Pavilion.  Come early - we usually fill the house.

A pilot production of Hard Call, a new series exploring shades of gray in
medicine’s difficult choices was held in October, focused on the ethical and
medical questions raised by the use of electronic hearts. Read the article in
CU Connections
for details about Hard Call or follow on Twitter @HardCallShow or on Facebook at Hard Call Show.

CANCELLED-Antje Gimmler, PhD, from Aalborg University in Denmark.

Sarah Richter-Sensory Paradox: An Artist's Experience with Multiple Sclerosis.​​

Using Stories to Promote "RightCare," by Daniel Nicklas, MD and Brandon
Combs, MD, on Monday, December 14th from noon-1:00pm at the Fulginiti Pavilion.
  RightCare is a movement to reduce overuse, underuse and misuse of medical care and treatments.​


Call for Submissions - The Human Touch 2016​.  Faculty, staff, students and
friends of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are invited to submit
prose, poetry, photography, graphic art, music and video for publication in the
9th volume of The Human Touch.  This year, we feature NEW submission categories
for music/audio, video/film and graphic short story. Submission Deadline is
December 20th, 2015.  
Click for Submission Instructions.  Direct your questions to: or

Local Physician Funds Holocaust and Medical Ethics Program.  Thanks to
Dr. William Silvers, students will learn about the role medical professionals played
in the Holocaust.  Listen to an interview with Matthew Wynia, MD, on Colorado Public Radio and read a recent article in the Aurora Sentinal.   Learn more>>​

Medical Students Use Art to Observe, Data to Spot Trends​ by Tom VanderArk is a blog in the Huffington Post, describing how CU medical students study art to improve their observational and communication skills. The Foundations of Doctoring block includes a Humanities, Ethics and Professionalism thread developed by CU faculty in partnership with the Denver Art Museum. The author is the son of CBH Advisory Board member, Dr. Gary VanderArk.

Center Director Matthew Wynia, MD, co-authored an article about truth-                   telling practices in the perioperative setting.  Patient Safety in Surgery (2015) 9:34​ 

Jackie Glover, PhD presented at the Collaborating Across Boarders (CAB)
V conference
in Roanoke, VA on Thursday, October 1st.  The title of her presentation was “Interprofessional Ethics Education Using Team Based Learning (TBL).  The entire CU Interprofessional team was well represented with various posters and presentations.

TIME Magazine's special edition, Marijuana Goes Main Street​, features excerpts 
from our Ethics Bites discussion about cannabis and pediatrics, held at the Center
for Bioethics and Humanities in June, 2015.

Center Director Matthew Wynia, MD, was quoted in an article about
mandatory flu vaccinations for healthcare workers in the October 3rd edition of Modern Healthcare.

Center Director, Dr. Matthew Wynia is co-author of an article in the May, 2015 edition
of the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled, "Of the Profession, by
the Profession, and for Patients, Families, and Communities:  ABMS Board Certification and Medicine’s Professional Self-regulation"​
  This viewpoint, written with the President of the ABMS, describes the role of board certification in 
collective professional self-regulation, current challenges and future directions.​

Center faculty Marilyn Coors and Dayna Matthew, along with Thomas Matthew published,
"Ethical precepts for medical volunteerism: including local voices and values to guide RHD surgery in Rwanda," in the June, 2015 edition of the Journal of Medical Ethics. J Med Ethics 2015;41:814–819.​


MaryLou Wallace, CGMP, and Program Assistant at the Center for Bioethics
and Humanities received the President's Award, from the Rocky Mountain Chapter
of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals on June 28, 2015.   The award
recognizes her enthusiasm and commitment to the Chapter. 
Congratulations MaryLou!


Fear-based Medicine: Using Scare Tactics in the Clinical Encounter, is the title of a post in The Health Care Blog by Namratha Kandula, MD and Matthew Wynia, MD.  The article suggests that fear appeals have limited utility in the clinical encounter, and that any appeal to fear must be coupled with communication strategies that increase motivation, autonomy and competence in patients.  

Congratulations to CBH Faculty Associate Larry Hunter, PhD, professor of pharmacology,
who recently traveled to Dublin, Ireland to receive the inaugural Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award from the International Society for Computational Biology. The award recognizes Larry, a founding father of the group, for exemplary leadership, education and service to the organization.​


Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH; William Silvers, MD and Jeremy Lazarus, MD  publiished a letter in the June, 2015 edition of Academic Medicine entitled, How Do U.S. and Canadian Medical Schools Teach About the Role of Physicians in the Holocaust?  Their survey results showed that only 22 of 140 medical schools in the United States and Canada have any required curricular elements on the roles of physicians in the Holocaust.


White Paper:
The Unrepresented Patient:  A White Paper​ from the Colorado Collaborative for Unrepresented Patients by Jackie Glover, PhD and Jean Abbott, MD, MH  The Colorado Collaborative for Unrepresented Patients (CCUP), a task force of representatives of the Colorado healthcare ethics community led by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado at Anschutz Medical Campus, the Center for Ethics and Leadership in the Health Professions at Regis University, and the Colorado Healthcare Ethics Forum. set a goal of investigating best practices from around the country and develop a concept paper to address the growing issue of unrepresented patients in Colorado healthcare systems. ​  More>>​


The 4th International Health Humanities Conference was held at the Fulginiti Pavilion from April 30-May 2, 2015 Health Humanities: The Next Decade (Pedagogies, Practices and Politics)​ ​brought together over 130 scholars, educators, clinicians, health advocates, students and caregivers from eight countries, to identify the core issues and guiding values as well as define the expanding scope of the health humanities.

The proposed Colorado Death with Dignity Act was passionately debated for nearly
10 hours in February, 2015 at the State Capital.  Ultimately it was voted down in a 9-4 vote by the Public Health Care and Human Services Committee, but the discussion lives on. Channel 9 News interviewed Dr. Jean Abbott, faculty at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, who argues the proposal is ethical.  Colorado neurologist Dr. Lynn Parry (who serves on the Center's Advisory Board) disagrees, arguing that the law sends dangerous signals.

Marilyn Coors, PhD is the author of 3 recently published articles.  They include:
1) What Adolescents Enrolled in Genomic Addiction Research Want to Know
about Conflicts of Interes
 by Coors ME, Raymond KM, McWilliams SK, Hopfer CJ,
Mikulich- Gilbertson SK. (2015).
  Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
2) Adolescent Perspectives on the Return of Individual Results in Genomic
Addiction Research
Coors ME. Raymond KM, McWilliams SK, Hopfer CJ,
Mikulich- Gilbertson SK. (2015). Psychiatric Genetics, in press.
3) Ethical Precepts for Medical Volunteerism: Including Local Voices and 
Values to Guide RHD Surgery in Rwanda by Coors ME, Matthew T, Matthew D. 
Journal of Medical Ethics, in press.

Senior medical student David Murphy recently published, "Listening to
the Voices from the Bateyes,"
a Spanish-language book about HIV in the
Dominican Republic.  “The stories are amazing, powerful, unique and provide
another perspective about living with HIV,” says Therese Jones, PhD, Associate
Director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities. The Center’s Arts and
Humanities in Healthcare Program is providing a scholarship to Murphy to help
fund his publication.  Learn more>>


Eric Schwartz was featured in "Tattoos: Fine Art for the Masses," on
CBS Sunday Morning.  Schwartz's photographs and documentary film,
Tattoo Nation, were shown at the Fulginiti Gallery in Fall, 2013.



Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities
is featured in a CUToday profile.  Dr. Wynia was also interviewed about diagnostic errors on Colorado Matters.  Listen to the story on Colorado Public Radio.



Jean Abbott, MD, MH​, is one of the co-founders of The Conversation Project in Boulder
County, which encourages adults to express their values and wishes for the amount and types of end-of-life care they wish to receive.  Jean, along with colleagues Hillary Lum and Jeanie Youngwerth recently presented an abstract on this initiative at a Palliative Care Conference at the Anschutz Medical Campus.  The Conversation Starter Kit is now included in the CU School of Medicine curriculum.

In October 2014, Jonathan Metzl, MD, PhD,​ presented "Mental Illness, Mass Shootings
and the Politics of American Firearms,"
to a standing-room only audience at the
Fulginiti Pavilion, as the 2nd Annual Claman Professorship.  Dr. Metzl who is the
Director of the Center for Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbuilt University
recently published his research in the American Journal of Public Health.​


A major report from the Institute of Medicine, “Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences near the End of Life,” was recently released. The report finds that improving quality and availability of medical and social services for patients and their families could enhance quality of life through the end of life and contribute to a more sustainable care system. Jean Kutner, MD, MSPH​, associate dean for clinical affairs at the School of Medicine and chief medical officer at University of Colorado Hospital, served on the 21-member committee that authored the report, which attracted attention in the media. 


Therese (Tess) Jones, PhD, Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics
and Humanities, is the recipient of CU's 2014 Thomas Jefferson Award
, which recognizes CU faculty, staff and students who demonstrate excellence in the performance of regular academic responsibilities while contributing outstanding service to the broader community. Jones and other awardees were recognized at an event on April 2nd, 2014.


An article published in American Medical Association Journal of Ethics:
"Creating a Space for the Arts and Humanities at the Anschutz Medical Campus,"
by Center Associate Director Therese Jones, PhD, describes our unique facility and program which encompasses education, inquiry, expression and engagement.
Virtual Mentor. August 2014, Volume 16, Number 8: 618-621​


Health Humanities Reader, edited by Therese Jones, Delese Wear and Lester D. Friedman, is available from Rutgers University Press.  "This is a landmark volume that sets the standard for any future collection in medical/health humanities.  It is by turns authoritative, funny, edgy, creative and personal-sometimes all in one piece," says Thomas R. Cole, Director, McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at University of Texas-Houston Medical School.

Letters to a Third Year Student​ - Confused, frustrated, terrified, overworked and under-​appreciated are some of the ways our graduating medical students remember their third year, when after spending two years in the classroom, they plunge into the clinical realm, working with patients under the supervision of residents and attending physicians. Read their letters, which share advice, humor and insights.​


The Nipple Quilt: A Genealogical Fabric of Human Existence
by Laura Phelps Rogers, on display in the Fulginiti Foyer.  Laura's work is about personal, familial, generational, social and cultural memories. The quilt is made of life casts of people’s nipples as a means of representing and documenting the person. Read more in UCH Insider​.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn