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

About the Institute

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Institute for Ethics was founded in 2002 under the leadership of Laura Weiss Roberts, MD. The institute serves as a resource for ethics in health care and research at the institutional, local, regional, national and international levels. The Institute for Ethics has three domains of activity: education, service and scholarship.

The Institute for Ethics brings together faculty, staff, students and community colleagues who are interested in ethical issues affecting health, health care, and health-related research. The aim of the Institute is to bring together the resources of the University in an effort to help improve the lives and health of New Mexicans. The Institute for Ethics will develop innovative educational programs, clinical services, and valuable knowledge that we hope will translate to a meaningful difference in our community.

The Institute for Ethics maintains a focus on special populations, including people who are seriously physically and mentally ill children, elders, ethnic minorities and under-served groups. By giving our careful attention to special populations, we will be able to develop clinical and research practices and policies that are more respectful, attuned, and responsive to their needs. Through such work, we will also be able to help health care professionals, researchers, and policy-makers who are struggling with similar issues across diverse communities.

David Bennahum, MD, Emeritus Professor of Internal Medicine at the UNM School of Medicine and Scholar in Residence at the Institute for Ethics, says that the Institute for Ethics can have a significant impact on the health care of patients, the training of health professionals, and research in the Health Sciences. "We will face difficult issues on how to protect the privacy and confidentiality of patients, how to train research scientists and clinicians to be sensitive to the fears and needs of people of different cultures, and how to encourage students to acquire and use a knowledge of biomedical ethics. The coordination of the efforts of the members of the Biomedical Ethics Committee and the Institute, as well as researchers and teachers in the health sciences is vitally important in this age of complex medical technology, knowledge discovered about the human genome, and the ever present threat of biological terrorism."

The Institute benefits from the expertise of faculty and staff with varied educational foundations, clinical training, teaching experiences, and ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Our faculty, staff and trainees have expertise in medicine, social and clinical psychology, philosophy, public health, theology, scientific design, cross-cultural studies, sociology, education, and qualitative and quantitative research methods.