The Division of Bioethics and Palliative Care has 3 primary focuses: clinical care, education/training, and research. Clinical work is carried out through the Clinical Bioethics Consultation Service and the Clinical Palliative Care Service at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Education and training primarily occur via the University of Washington School of Medicine, and research is conducted through the Treuman Katz Center as part of Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are fundamental to our work.
Our mission is to ensure each child, family, and community benefits from excellent, equitable healthcare and research centered on their needs and values.
Our vision is to use our inter-professional expertise in bioethics and palliative care to address complex challenges in pediatric healthcare and advance the well-being of children, families, and communities.
A commitment to health equity and anti-racism is foundational to our program. Equity, diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission and fundamental to our clinical care, educational activities and research. We partner closely with the Seattle Children’s Hospital Center for Diversity and Health Equity and with the Department of Pediatrics Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee.
Bioethics and Palliative Care
The Clinical Palliative Care Service at Seattle Children’s Hospital provides specialized care for children who have a serious life-threatening or life-limiting illness and their families. We provide support for medical decision-making, communication, and pain and symptom management. Our primary goal is to help improve quality of life. Palliative care can be appropriate for patients at any age and at any stage of a serious condition.
The Bioethics Consultation Service at Seattle Children’s Hospital offers advice and recommendations to families, clinical teams, and hospital leadership facing difficult decisions regarding the medical care of children. Bioethics consultants are trained in medical ethics and provide a forum for conversation and analysis about ethical uncertainty or disagreements. The Seattle Children's Hospital Ethics Committee oversees the Bioethics Clinical Consultation Service.
These services are available 24/7 and may be reached via the hospital paging operator at (206) 987-2000.
The Treuman Katz Center at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute is the first program in the country to focus on pediatric bioethics issues and serves as a national resource for addressing the complex bioethical issues affecting families, healthcare institutions and society. In 2018, the Treuman Katz Center expanded its focus to include pediatric palliative care with the goal to improve quality of life, medical decision-making and communication for children with serious illness and their families. The Treuman Katz Center team is interdisciplinary with expertise in medicine, philosophy, law and the social and behavioral sciences.
Research Bioethics Consultations are available through the Treuman Katz Center to advise families, research staff and investigators who have questions about designing or conducting clinical research. More information, including how to request a research bioethics consultations, can be found at Research Bioethics Consultation Service - ITHS.
We are committed to training clinicians for academic careers in bioethics to ensure that the next generation of scholars, teachers and consultants are able engage in pediatric bioethics issues, and to encourage medical students and residents to consider careers in bioethics.
The Clinical Bioethics Fellowship Program is a two-year program that trains physicians in bioethics with an emphasis on pediatrics issues in the clinical and research arenas. The goal of the fellowship is to prepare fellows for academic careers with an emphasis on scholarship in pediatric bioethics. Fellows will conduct an independent research project, participate in clinical consultations and will be expected to enroll in a master's program in Bioethics.
The program is sponsored by the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children's, and the Division of Bioethics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University Of Washington School Of Medicine. Fellows will benefit from collaborations with the University of Washington Department of Bioethics and Humanities, School of Medicine and School of Public Health.
Palliative Care Fellowship
The University of Washington Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program is a one-year fellowship that trains fellows to become experts in delivering palliative medicine for severe and chronically ill patients of all ages. Clinical rotations include inpatient consult services, inpatient palliative care units, affiliated long term care facilities, home-based palliative care experiences including hospice care, and ambulatory outpatient clinics. We provide a mentored training experience in clinical skills and provide exposure to research and quality improvement for our fellows, who will become future leaders in palliative care medicine.
About the Pediatric Palliative Care Track
The Pediatric Track provides pediatricians 8.5 months of pediatric-specific palliative care training. Pediatric fellows rotate through 2 adult inpatient palliative care services to gain additional experience across several hospital settings with varying patient populations and palliative care team structures. The pediatric fellow also has 2 weeks of adult based hospice to ensure adequate exposure to hospice care and to gain experience caring for young adults at the end of life. There is also a 1-month long-term care experience in which the pediatric fellow spends 1 month at the VA working on their rehabilitation unit.
The Pediatric Trainee also attends Interdisciplinary Pediatric Palliative and Hospice Team meetings at Providence Hospice of Seattle, providing opportunities and experience as a medical director for a home based pediatric palliative care and hospice team. Through this experience, the fellow has opportunities to complete home visits throughout the year on both palliative care and hospice patients.
The ambulatory clinic experience for the Pediatric Trainee is through the Adult Oncology Palliative Care Clinic at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance which provides excellent opportunities to learn advanced symptom management. Pediatric fellows also have the opportunity to work with the outpatient palliative care team at Seattle Children’s.
For more information, please visit the Palliative Care Fellowship webpage.
Palliative Care Grand Rounds: Barbara and Eric Mann have generously supported the Pediatric Palliative Care Service since 2007. Their sponsorship allows for specialized education and training for highly skilled clinicians in order to enhance the care of patients and families at Seattle Children’s Hospital. As a tribute to their generosity, we have established an annual Pediatric Palliative Care Grand Rounds in their honor.
Sconyers/Godfrey Bioethics Grand Rounds: A case-based interactive grand rounds featuring a challenging clinical ethics issue. This grand rounds occurs twice a year and is made possible by the generous support of Jeff Sconyers and Debra Godfrey.
Annual Treuman Katz Lectureship: This annual lectureship is named in honor of Treuman Katz, president and chief executive officer of Seattle Children’s for 26 years who had a long standing interest in quality of care, respecting the role of families, and the role of clinical research in advancing pediatric health care. With this lectureship, a national leader in bioethics is invited to present a traditional didactic grand rounds on a bioethics topic.
Division Head Medical Director, Clinical Bioethics & Palliative Care Associate Professor, Division of Bioethics and Palliative Care
Division Administrator Director, Bioethics & Palliative Care Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Division of Bioethics and Palliative Care
M/S MB.5.605, PO Box 5371, Seattle, WA 98105