Monica Gerrek, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Bioethics
School of Medicine
Center for Biomedical Ethics, MetroHealth System
Institute of Burn Ethics, MetroHealth System

Monica L. Gerrek is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and serves as the Co-Director of both the Center for Biomedical Ethics and the Institute of Burn Ethics at The MetroHealth System. She has a PhD and MA in philosophy and a BSBA in Industrial and Labor Relations. Dr. Gerrek also completed the two-year Cleveland Fellowship in Advanced Bioethics.

As Co-Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics, Dr. Gerrek oversees the clinical ethics consult service, bioethics-related research projects, ethics education programming, including its Bioethics Grand Rounds which she established in 2012. She is also chair of MetroHealth’s Ethics Committee and is the former chair of its Schwartz Center Rounds Committee, which she initiated in 2014. Dr. Gerrek is MetroHealth’s ethics representative to the Northern Ohio Trauma System Quality Committee and has previously served as its representative to the Cuyahoga County Adult Protective Collaborative.

Since 2021, Dr. Gerrek has been chair of the American Burn Association’s Ethical Issues Committee, the first non-clinician and formally trained clinical ethicist to serve in this position. She is also serves on the American Burn Association’s Program Committee and is the Ethics section editor for the Journal of Burn Care and Research. Dr. Gerrek is also the lead author on the ethics chapter in the Core Curriculum for Burn Nursing. Dr. Gerrek was invited in both 2017 and 2019 to give the John P. McGovern Lecture at the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston on burn ethics, the latter with Andrea Hope Rubin. In 2023, she was the recipient of the North American Burn Society David Beesinger Scholarship Award and was nominated for the American Burn Association’s Curtis P. Artz Distinguished Service Award.

In addition to her innovative work in burn ethics, Dr. Gerrek has strived to bring attention to correctional healthcare ethics. She has presented at both the National Commission on Correctional Health Care Conference and at the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health and has been an invited speaker on this topic for both University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic’s Bioethics Ground Rounds.

Dr. Gerrek has also been recognized for her teaching and dedication to teamwork. She was the recipient of CWRU’s J. Bruce Jackson, MD, Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring in 2019 and the recipient of CWRU’s School of Medicine’s Faculty STAR (Supportive, Team-Based, Authentic, Respectful) Award in 2021.    


Teaching Information

Teaching Schedule

Courses Taught:

BETH 271. Bioethics: Dilemmas
BETH 315B/415B. International Bioethics Policy and Practice: Public Health in the Netherlands, with Marcie Lambrix, MA
BETH 315J/415J. Dutch Perspectives: Drugs, Decriminalization, and Detention, with Marcie Lambrix, MA
BETH 371. Advanced Bioethics
BETH 350/450. Bioethics in Environmental and Occupational Health, with Kathy Fagan, MD, MPH
BETH 428. Clinical Ethics Simulation Course, with Marcie Lambrix, MA

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Burn Ethics
  • Correctional Health Ethics
  • Ethics of Addication
  • Animal Ethics
  • Food Ethics
  • Environmental Ethics

Research Projects

In her role as the Co-Director of the Institute of Burn Ethics, Dr. Gerrek oversees its research program, which has produced more than a dozen presentations at regional, national, and international conferences as well as several publications. Her own work currently focuses on autonomy and capacity in decision making in burn care, paternalism and parentalism in burn care, and monozygotic skin grafting.

External Appointments

Co-Director, Center for Biomedical Ethics, MetroHealth System
Co-Director, Institute of Burn Ethics, Center for Biomedical Ethics, MetroHealth System




The Dracopoulos Bloomberg Bioethics iDeas Lab. (October 2023) playing god: I Would’ve Let You Die, Too.

AMA Journal of Ethics Podcast appearance (June 2018) with Andrea Rubin, burn survivor. "Ethics Talk: How to Help Burn Patients Survive and Thrive - An Interview with Dr. Monica Gerrek and Andrea Rubin."