Stuart J. Youngner, MD

Susan E. Watson Professor of Bioethics
Professor of Psychiatry

End of Life Decision Making
Organ Transplantation
Clinical Ethics Consultation
Definition of Death

Office Phone: 216-368-6196


Stuart J. Youngner received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University where he is Susan E. Watson Professor of Bioethics. 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.

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 and is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and was given 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 as Board Member of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors since 2011.

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, and ethical issues in organ and tissue retrieval and transplantation. He has published over 90 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. He is the editor or coeditor of nine books, including The Definition of Death: Contemporary Controversies (Johns Hopkins University Press). His latest book, Physician-Assisted Death in Perspective: Assessing the Dutch Experience, was published by Cambridge University Press in July, 2012.

Recent Publications

Rodriguez-Arias D, Tortosa JC, Burant C, Aubert P, Aulisio MP, Youngner SJ.  One or two types of death?  Attitudes of health professionals towards brain death and donation after cardiac death in three countries.  Medicine, Health Care & Philosophy 2013; 16 (3): 457-467.

Rodríguez-Arias D,Ortega-Deballon I, Smith MJ, and Youngner SJ, Casting Light and Doubt on Uncontrolled DCDD Protocols, Hastings Center Report 2013; 43(1): 27-30.

Parran TV, Pisman AR, Youngner SJ, Levine SB, Remedial CME In Professionalism:  Trying to Make it Right When Doctors Go Wrong. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 2013; 23(3):174-179.

Chen Y-Y, Gordon N, Connors Jr. AF, Garland A, Lai HS, Youngner SJ. Factors associated with two different protocols of do-not-resuscitate orders in a medical intensive care unit. Crit Care Med. 2014; 42(10):2188-96.

Chen YY, Gordon NH, Connors Jr. AF, Garland A, Chang SC, Youngner SJ. Two Distinct Do-not-resuscitate Protocols: Leaving Less to the Imagination. BMC Med. 2014 Aug 29;12:146.

Recent Activities

The Death Problem 2014 International Conference of the Japanese Association for Philosophical and Ethical Research in Medicine. Tokyo November 23, 2014

Euthanasia: Opening Pandora's Box. National Taiwan University School of Medicine. Taiwan December 1, 2014 The Active/Passive Continuum in Limiting Life-

Sustaining Treatment. Chong-Shan Medical University Taiwan, December 2, 2014

Contact Information

Stuart J. Youngner, M.D.
Chair, Department of Bioethics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-4976

Office: 216-368-6196
FAX: 216-368-8713

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