Stuart J. Youngner, MD

Professor Emeritus
Department of Bioethics
School of Medicine

Stuart J. Youngner received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University, where he is currently Professor of Bioethics and Psychiatry. He did an internship in Pediatrics and a residency in Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland, and subsequently received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medical ethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. He was Chairman of the Department of Bioethics from 2001-2015.

Dr. Youngner serves on the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. He has been elected a Fellow of the Hastings Center and the American Psychiatric Association, and has been certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has served as a consultant to the United States Congress Office of Technology Assessment, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Institute of Medicine, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Dr. Youngner has testified before the United States Congress. He served as President of the Society for Bioethics Consultation from 1994-1997. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, and received the organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 2000. He co-directed a national task force that examined the need for standards for ethics committees and clinical ethics consultation. He is the on the Medical Board of Trustees and ethics committee of the Musculoskeletal Foundation. He has served as President of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors. He was Chairman of the Department of Bioethics at CWRU for 15 years.

Dr. Youngner is a nationally- and internationally-recognized scholar in biomedical ethics and has published and spoken on topics, including: decisions to limit life-sustaining treatment; ethics committees; physician-assisted suicide; advance directives; definitions of death; clinical ethics; ethical issues in organ and tissue retrieval and transplantation. He has published 125 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. He is the editor or co-editor of nine books, including The Definition of Death: Contemporary Controversies (Johns Hopkins University Press). His latest book, The Oxford Handbook of Ethics at the End of Life, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016.


Mathews DJH, Hester DM, Kahn J, McGuire A, McKinney R, Meador K, Philpott-Jones S, Youngner S, Wilfond BS. A Conceptual Model for the Translation of Bioethics Research and Scholarship.  Hastings Center Rep 2016;(46)5:34-39.

Rodrîguez-Arias D, Wilkonson D, Youngner SJ. How can you be transparent when you are labeling the living as dead? The American Journal of Bioethics2017 May;17(5):24-25.

Quill TE, Arnold RM, Youngner SJ. Physician-Assisted Suicide: Finding a Path Forward in a Changing Legal Environment. Ann.Int.Med. 2017; 167(8): 597-598.

<p>Blackstone E, Youngner SJ. <a data-cke-saved-href=" https:="" pubmed="""">When Slippery Slope Arguments Miss the Mark: A Lesson from One Against Physician-Assisted Death. J. Med. Ethics 2018; 44:657-660.


Freeman LM, Rose SL, Youngner SJ. Poverty: Not a Justification for Banning Physician-Assisted Death. Hastings Center Rep. 2018; 48(6):38-46.

Youngner S, Hyun I. Pig Brain Study could Fuel Debates around Death. Nature 2019; 568: 302-304.