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Student Club Spotlight: MCPHS Student Bioethics Association

  • A new student group provides an opportunity to discuss topics ranging from conflicts of interest to professional duties to drug pricing.

    The recently launched MCPHS Student Bioethics Association aims to foster academic dialogue about ethical issues in medicine, health, and the life sciences. The club plans to advance student engagement in bioethics research and professional opportunities. First-year goals include producing a bioethics journal and collaborating with other programs at MCPHS to co-sponsor an annual student conference.

    We caught up with President and Co-Founder Jeffrey Gruenglas, DHS ’22, to learn more.

    Why is this club needed at MCPHS?

    Medical ethics is integral to all health- and medical-related disciplines. As a leading health sciences and pharmacy institution, the university can help students gain competency in medical ethics and open opportunities to collaborate in the field.

    What are some examples of bioethics topics that are important today?

    Conflicts of interest; end-of-life care; health policy and public health; access to care; professional duty and obligations; ethical principles and duties; patient rights and health law; drug and device pricing and regulation; and ethics in research and clinical trials.

    When do you meet?

    Currently, we are meeting monthly to get activities rolling, but we expect the frequency to be reduced to quarterly, with periodic updates and news posted to the association’s landing page.

    Describe your upcoming annual conference.

    Our goal is to host a yearly conference at MCPHS that explores the intersection of ethics and health disciplines. The target date for the conference is mid-spring. We will post the dates and a call for abstracts on our landing page. We invite collaboration from other MCPHS clubs and associations.

    Tell us about your bioethics journal. How frequently will it come out?

    The debut issue of the annual journal will publish the proceedings and abstracts from the conference, as well as any accepted submissions of original work from students and association members. The MCPHS Bioethics Journal Editorial Board will consist of elected editors from faculty and the association’s membership.

    What other signature events or activities will you be hosting throughout the year?

    Quarterly online meetings to assist students with their interests and work on bioethics. Each meeting will include a guest speaker such as a clinician, researcher, industry leader, or policymaker with expertise in the field. Additionally, we plan to hold a meeting for the membership drive at the beginning of each semester.

    How do students join?

    Students at any level from any MCPHS program are welcome to join. The club is a chapter affiliate of the National Student Bioethics Association. Students interested in joining the MCPHS Student Bioethics Association can email BioethicsMCPHS@gmail.com. They should also fill out the National Student Bioethics Association New Member Form. Students will immediately become members of both the national organization and MCPHS chapter. Both are free of charge, with no dues required.

    What are the association’s social media handles?