UNM HSC Institute for Ethics
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
917 Vassar Dr. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Phone: (505) 272-4566
Fax: (505) 272-4569


Anne Simpson
Director: Anne R. Simpson, MD, CMD

Advancing Ethics, Education, Service, and Scholarship

Welcome to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Institute for Ethics. The Institute serves as a center for ethics education, service and scholarship at a local, regional and national level, and seeks to fulfill the ethical imperative of respect for persons through its distinctive focus on special populations.

What We Do

We engage with the general public, hospital patients and staff to help provide consultations and guidance with day to day health care inquiries. We are available to help on both a professional and public level to assist the understanding of options, choices, and decisions within a health care setting. We also help with education programs (both for the public and hospital staff). Furthermore, we continually help the advancement of ethics as a whole with research, awareness and advisement.

Who We Serve

The Institute for Ethics provides education, research, clinical care and community outreach - to provide New Mexicans with the highest level of health care.

Brown Bag Ethics Journal Club


First Tuesday of every month
All interested healthcare students, residents, healthcare professionals, faculty members, staff and community members are welcome to join in the discussion!
Held at our office: 917 Vassar Dr. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106 (Parking is available in the Mental Health parking lot, please call or email for details.)
Available to participate via online or through conference call, contact our office for details.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 (Noon - 1:00 PM):

"Intimate Choices" 
Moderator: David Bennahum, MD
Click to download the flyer

Articles to read, please click on the following link:
1. Intimate Choices, Public Threats - Reproductive and LGBTQ Rights under a Trump Administration (The New England Journal of Medicine, Jan 26, 2017)

The above article is by subscription only. For those off-campus (who are not UNM students or employees), the article is available by going in person to the Health Science Library on North Campus.

The Office of Continuing Medical Education designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.
NASW-NM approves this activity for 1 hour CEU in Social Work.


Social Determinants
The Social Determinants of Healthy Aging Series will not be held in 2017.  We will post upcoming topics as they become available.

View Presentations Online (Includes all archived video recordings of previously held Social Determinants sessions. Topics include millennial perspectives and faith perspectives on aging, long-term care issues, Blue Zones, and transportation, to name a few.)  Sponsored by: UNM HSC Black Health Resource Center, UNM HSC Office of Community Health, UNMH & SOM Biomedical Ethics Committee, HealthInsight NM, Southwest Women’s Law Center, YWCA – Middle Rio Grande, and AARP

David & Judith Bennahum 2017 Travel Fellows Awards

The Institute for Ethics announces the recipients of the inaugural David & Judith Bennahum travel fellowship. The fellowship is an initiative sponsored by a generous gift from Drs. David and Judith Bennahum, and Dr. Ernest and Mrs. Eve R. Simon to provide opportunities for physicians in training and junior faculty to expand their knowledge of the arts in order to broaden their perspective about the human condition. The fellowship provides up to $2,000.00 for travel to a medical/humanities conference or an equivalent program. “There were 16 very worthy project proposals and the selection committee was impressed with each of them. Due to budget constraints, the committee could only fund three. It made for some very tough decisions,” said Anne Simpson, MD, director of the UNM School of Medicine Institute for Ethics. This year's recipients are:

  • Ellen Walford Hatch, MD, PhD candidate, UNM SOM MSII, will use interviews and photography with a project goal of transforming how the Albuquerque homeless are viewed.
  • Erin Rush Ortegon, MD, PG-1, psychiatry resident, will visit and learn about the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center and Living Museum in Queens, NY, with a goal to replicate the project here.
  • Ariel Scott, MD, PGY-3, family and community medicine resident, will attend the Taos Writers Retreat, with an ultimate goal to integrate and embed narrative medicine into the current medical education curriculum.

“Congratulations to this group of fellows, we look forward to working with them and future applicants. Many thanks to Dr. David & Dr. Judith Bennahum and also to Dr. Ernie Simon for this fellowship and the opportunities it supports,” said Simpson.
Individuals must be a medical student enrolled at UNM SOM, participating in UNM SOM residency/ fellows program, or be a non-tenured SOM junior faculty member (who has been in their position for three years or less).

Recently published book: "Dealing with Doctors, Denial, and Death"

Aroop Mangalik, MD, associate of the Institute and retired professor, Internal Medicine, addresses issues involving serious illness and making tough decisions. The book is written to empower patients and families to make decisions that are best for themselves when faced with a life-changing or life-threatening illness. It is now available to order through Rowman & Littlefield.

Recently published book: "Voracious Science and Vulnerable Animals: A Primate Scientist's Ethical Journey (Animal Lives)"

John P. Gluck, PhD, Emeritus Professor, UNM and Research Professor, Kennedy Institute for Ethics, Georgetown University wrote the recently published book: "Voracious Science and Vulnerable Animals: A Primate Scientist's Ethical Journey (Animal Lives)"  It is currently available to order through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Emeritus professor receives honorary Doctor of Science Degree

We are delighted to announce that SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s College of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies, and School of Public Health is saluting Dr. David A. Bennahum, Internal Medicine Professor Emeritus and Institute for Ethics Scholar in Residence, with an honorary Doctor of Science degree. He is being recognized for his dedication and contributions to medicine, medical ethics, and community health. Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York will bestow this honor during the Commencement ceremony, May 2017, at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Hakim Bellamy, Inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque

Hakim Bellamy, inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, recently did a poetry reading for the Institute of Ethics. The poem is titled Praying Backwards (All Apologies to Benjamin Button) [PDF]