Center for Bioethics and Health Equity

Our mission

The Center for Bioethics and Health Equity is grounded in a vision of holistic human flourishing.  We strive to (1) Aid in addressing questions of value and ethical complexity that arise in the clinical and community contexts of healthcare and (2) Cultivate a pervasive ethos of care and equity.

Our role

  • Guidance and discernment when faced with ethical questions
  • Facilitation and conflict resolution
  • Story-telling and education
  • Critical thinking support

Ethics consultations – When you might need us

  • Questions of autonomy: Are we providing our patients and families with the ability to make their own decisions and determinations?
  • Questions of beneficence, or doing what benefits others: In pediatric terms, are we acting in the best interests of the patient?
  • Questions of non-maleficence: Are we avoiding doing harm?
  • Questions of justice: Is our treatment fair and equitable?

What do we do?


  • Chart Review
  • Meetings: patient, family, requestor, medical team
  • Mediating
  • Value clarification


  • Staff meetings
  • Inpatient rounding
  • ICU education
  • Noon lectures
  • Resident morning report

Policy Review:

  • Review existing policies
  • New policies or procedures

Health Equity:

  • MLH System
  • Memphis

When to call

“The role of ethics consultation in healthcare is to address uncertainty or conflict regarding value-laden concerns that emerge in a healthcare context” – American Society of Bio Ethics and Humanities

In general, if someone thinks that a circumstance raises an ethical question, then it probably does.

Accessing ethics

  • Call the 24/7 cell phone at 901-562-3711
  • Order an ethics consult in Cerner by typing “Ethics Consult”
  • Call the Operator and ask for Ethics
  • Go to MOLLI and type in “ethics” in the search box and you will get our office number
  • Come to our Ethics Office in 850 Poplar Building 2

Who is in the ethics department?

  • Austin Dalgo, MD Director, Committee Chair
  • Makeba Garrison Chaplain, ethics and outpatient
  • Peter Hossler, PhD Faculty-in-Residence, focus Healthcare Policy
  • Kendra Hotz, PhD Faculty-in-Residence, focus Health Equity
  • Duane Loynes, PhD Faculty-in-Residence, focus Cultural Humility and law enforcement
  • Robyn Noble Powell ,  Administrative Assistant,
  • Ethics Committee Le Bonheur faculty and staff, community members, UTHSC, SJCRH