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Hofstra Law’s Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy Launches Clinical Bioethics Certificate

The Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University has launched a new Certificate in Clinical Bioethics program with the Hofstra University Bioethics Center and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. The nine-month course will be offered beginning in September 2014.

“The course teaches bioethics through the lens of medicine, law and narrative and includes an experiential component that offers practical guidelines for conducting clinical ethics consultations,” said Professor Janet Dolgin, the director of the Gitenstein Institute.

The course provides a foundational understanding of bioethics and introduces participants to clinical competencies that will prepare them to conduct ethics consultations in medical settings. The curriculum covers topics including moral status, treatment choices in mental illness, eugenics, scientific research and advance directives, among other relevant issues.

“By reviewing actual clinical ‘cases’ in which local bioethics consultants have been asked to provide assistance — and comparing them to similar legal cases resolved by the courts — we will learn how the consultants’ application of specific ethical principles and concepts illuminated the values at stake in these conflicts, and often facilitated a path to resolution that had not been evident at the beginning of the process,” said Dr. Frederick Smith, an assistant professor at the School of Medicine.

Upon completion of the program, participants will have the critical tools needed to analyze and assess ethics cases, participate in ethics consultations and serve on hospital ethics committees.

The certificate program is open to doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, clergy, hospital administrators, lawyers, law students, judges and other professionals who would benefit from a grounding in clinical bioethics.

The course is taught by:

  • Professor Janet L. Dolgin
    Jack and Freda Dicker Distinguished Professor of Health Care Law; Professor of Science Education, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine; Co-Director, Hofstra Bioethics Center; Director, Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy
  • Dr. Samuel Packer
    Florence and Robert Kaufman Professor of Medical Ethics, North Shore LIJ Health System; Chief, Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Medicine, North Shore LIJ Health System; Chair Emeritus, Department of Ophthalmology, North Shore LIJ Health System; Professor of Ophthalmology, Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine; Co-Director, Hofstra Bioethics Center
  • Dr. Frederick Smith
    Attending Physician, North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine

Applications for the Clinical Bioethics Certificate program are now being accepted online.

For more information, contact Melissa Kessler, assistant director of the Gitenstein Institute, at 516-463-7361 or

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