Medical ethics plays an important—and foundational—role in the provision of modern medical care. Whether through matching treatment plans to patient values, assuring risks and benefits are appropriately weighted and accounted for in decision making, or identifying appropriate surrogates, the responsibilities of ethics case consultation are increasingly complex. Clinical health workers conducting ethics consultation at many hospitals lack background training in the content and methodology of clinical bioethics. This is particularly true at smaller and rural hospitals, which may rely on clinical staff who volunteer their time to the hospital ethics committee and consultation service. To perform these functions properly, these professionals have specialized educational needs.

Thomas May, PhD, bioethics research in conducted in four key areas:

  1. Genomics and Precision Medicine, focusing primarily on the use of genomic technologies to enhance both acute clinical and preventive care.
  2. Public Health, including pandemic preparedness and response, as well as community health.
  3. Clinical and Research Ethics, including the effective uses and evaluation of ethics consultation, and ethical issues in the conduct and oversight of human subjects research.
  4. Issues of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, including equality and health disparities, as well as health access and discrimination.

Thomas May also oversees the Certificate in Medical Ethics Program, designed to prepare medical clinicians and ethics committee members to perform competent clinical ethics case consultation in a hospital, long-term care, or clinic setting.