Clinical Ethics: Bridging the Gap in Pediatric Medical Ethics—Bringing Research to Practice Using Novel Frameworks and Analyses

June 12, 2023 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Michael Certo, MM, MD, MA 
Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellow 
University of Pittsburgh 

Abstract: This presentation will explore how references to suffering and hope figure in discussion of ethical dilemmas in pediatric care. It will demonstrate how use of novel ethical frameworks and analysis can help bridge the gap between academic ethics and philosophy, and clinical pediatrics. It will also consider how difficulties in assessing suffering can significantly complicate medical decision making for children and how the concepts of experiential capacity and self-awareness can be helpful in assessing suffering in children, thereby lessening the degree to which the term ‘suffering’ is inappropriately applied. This discussion will also demonstrate how viewing hope as a coping mechanism can relieve perceived tension between autonomy and beneficence, while providing valuable insight regarding a patient’s and family’s response to adversity. (Continuing medical education credit will be available.)


Clinical Ethics is a new forum of the Center for Bioethics & Health Law that brings together Pitt faculty (including law, medicine, nursing, and philosophy scholars), Pitt students, trainees, and UPMC staff for ethics discussions including journal clubs, policy discussions, and case conferences.

Location and Address