Portrait of Ryan Pferdehirt.

Ryan Pferdehirt, D.Bioethics, HEC-C



(816) 979-1350

Ryan joined the Center in June 2019 as the Director of Membership and Ethics Education. His work focuses on developing and growing competencies of member ethics committees, individual consultants and the general public.


Ryan previously served as the Department Chair and Bioethicist for MultiCare Health System, a multiple hospital health system in the Seattle/Tacoma area. In that role, he oversaw all aspects of bioethics services for the South Sound region and hospitals in Spokane. In addition to directing the clinical ethics consultation service and conducting several hundred ethics consultations, he served on and chaired multiple hospital ethics committees and IRBs and championed ethics education in all aspects of patient care. Ryan also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Puget Sound in the Religious Studies and Bioethics department. He taught several classes including Clinical Bioethics, Practicum in Bioethics, and developed and managed a clinical ethics internship with the local hospital system.


Ryan spoke frequently in the Seattle/Tacoma area, with an on-going lecture series, “Conversations in Medical Ethics,” at the University of Washington Tacoma. Topics included moral distress in clinical ethics, cultural and media depictions of medicine compared to the real world, and the limits of clinical ethics going forward. He also led a community project with Hospice Foundation of America’s “Being Mortal” Project, presented frequent lectures for the Bioethics Club at the University of Puget Sound, and trainings/grand rounds for local palliative and ethics departments and community events.


Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, he worked for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in patient relations, as well as volunteering in the clinical ethics and palliative medicine departments. He also worked for a local bioethics startup company as the developer of ethics content, serving as the philosophical bioethics expert.


His research areas include moral philosophy, end-of-life ethics, philosophy of language, and advance care planning ethics. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree from Creighton University, and his doctorate from Loyola University Chicago.