About the Center for Practical Bioethics

At a glance


Ethical discourse and action advance the health and dignity of all persons.


To raise and respond to ethical issues in health and healthcare.

Our Guiding Principles

To be unfettered by special interests

To listen actively, think critically and act wisely

To lead and promote the leadership of others

To collaborate with those who commit to civil discourse

To work diligently towards our mission

Our Core Values

Respect for human dignity

We believe that all persons have intrinsic worth.

We promote and protect the interests of those whose voices have not been heard or heeded.

We commit to the just delivery of healthcare.

Our Case

The Case for Practical Bioethics

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The Center for Practical Bioethics (CPB), founded in 1984, is a Kansas City-based nonprofit nationally recognized for its work in practical bioethics. On the PERSONAL level, we provide guidance to patients, families and clinicians grappling with hard choices. On the PROFESSIONAL/EDUCATIONAL level, we teach bioethics to medical students, clinicians and lay leaders. On the POLICY level, we address ethical issues by bringing diverse groups together to work collaboratively, recommend guidelines and policies, develop programs and disseminate thousands of free resources.


“Practical” is what distinguishes the Center from nearly all other bioethics centers across the country. Most are based in academic institutions and focus primarily on theoretical issues. The Center applies bioethics to the lived experiences of patients, providers and policymakers throughout the region and nation.


The Center’s work encompasses three broad areas:

Ethics Education
And Consultation

  • Providing ethics leadership, education, mentoring and consultation for Kansas University Medical Center and The University of Kansas Health System
  • Providing bioethics instruction within Kansas City University (KCU) curriculum
  • Managing the Ethics Committee Consortium
  • Developing clinical ethics services in hospitals and health systems and serving on hospital ethics committees throughout the region
  • Presenting professional and community-based educational programs (e.g., lectures, symposia, webinars)
  • Responding to consumers and policymakers facing ethical dilemmas who request guidance directly from the Center

Advance Care

Advance Care Planning builds on the Center’s pioneering legacy work in serious illness and end-of-life care, with focus on increasing participation in advance care planning in minority communities and though employee benefit programs.

Systems Change

Systems Change responds to contemporary issues in healthcare that raise ethical concerns and need for systems change. Current focus is on ethics of COVID-19, artificial intelligence in healthcare, population health and civic engagement, and providing a voice in research and treatment for people who live in chronic pain.

What is Bioethics?

Ethics is a philosophical discipline pertaining to notions of good and bad, right and wrong-our moral life in community. Bioethics is the application of ethics to the field of medical and healthcare. Ethicists and bioethicists ask relevant questions more than provide sure and certain answers.

5 Elements Of Bioethics

2022 Impact Report


From providers in clinical practice to patients and families making difficult choices for themselves and loved ones, your support helps thousands each year. We take pride in the values you advance though the accomplishments described in these reports.

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2021 Impact Report

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2020 Impact Report

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