Departmental Research Foci

The Department of Bioethics was established in 1983 to coordinate ethics consultation services and provide expertise in health policy. Consistent with the mission of The Cleveland Clinic, research conducted by members of the Department of Bioethics aims to improve the quality of patient care. By systematically examining patient values and moral beliefs, members of the Department seek to enhance the many clinical interactions that take place among patients, families, community members, and healthcare professionals.

A hallmark of research conducted by the Department of Bioethics is a focus on enhancing the patient experience. This patient-centered approach to bioethics research is evident in all aspects of the Department’s research, but most especially in the selection of study topics. Projects frequently focus on improving specific clinical practices, such as techniques for obtaining informed consent or communicating more effectively with patients and their families. Many of these projects employ multidisciplinary methods and involve close collaboration with other research groups at The Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Richard Sharp serves as Director of Research within the Department of Bioethics. Dr. Sharp was appointed in 2007 to provide leadership in expanding existing research programs while maintaining the Department’s historic focus on patient-care activities. The Department also supports a highly competitive Fellowship program to train the next generation of leaders in bioethics research and scholarship.

Research Foci

Ethics and Novel Therapeutics. Several members of the Department of Bioethics are interested in ethical considerations in the successful introduction of new therapeutic modalities. Ongoing research projects are examining:


Clinical Research Ethics. Members of the Department of Bioethics are interested in the unique ethical challenges of caring for patients who volunteer to participate in clinical research studies. Current projects are examining:


Best Practices for Clinical Ethics Consultation. The Department’s history of excellence in clinical ethics provides fertile ground for original scholarship and research. Ongoing research projects include:


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