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The Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics (FCME) located in Indianapolis, IN, coordinates all of the major service, research, and educational efforts in clinical ethics for Indiana University Health, the state’s largest and most comprehensive health system and the second largest health organization in the United States. With a primary focus on improving the ethical lives of health care practitioners, the Fairbanks Center’s robust programs directly impact Indiana University Health and the central Indiana community through interdisciplinary collaboration in ethics consultation, education, research, and service. This important work is made possible through generous support from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and the Methodist Health Foundation, and is enriched through the talents of a large, interdisciplinary group of healthcare professionals within IU Health, the Indiana University Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Law, and the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

Fairbanks Center activities include:

  • Clinical Ethics Consultation FCME trains ethics consultants and coordinates ethics consultation services in IU Health hospitals to facilitate the analysis and resolution of ethical dilemmas that arise in patient care, while fostering examination of personal, cultural, religious, and institutional influences on the ethical practice of medicine.
  • Clinical Medical Ethics Education FCME educates physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, attorneys, clergy, students, business and community leaders, and others in contemporary ethics issues in healthcare. Educational programs include the Fairbanks Fellowship in Clinical Ethics, the Fairbanks Lecture Series, multiple practicum and internship opportunities for graduate students, law students, and medical and pediatric residents, as well as a wide variety of in-service presentations for patient care staff in IU Health hospitals.
  • Clinical Ethics Research and Scholarship FCME advances scholarship in clinical ethics through research and publication in order to promote ethical patient care and to improve the ethical lives of healthcare professionals. Fairbanks Center faculty are engaged in broad research efforts, including health communication, surrogate decision making, health care and the law, and nursing ethics.
  • Ethics Community Service FCME encourages thoughtful public discourse by supporting programs, projects, and conferences to deepen community awareness and understanding of clinical ethics. FCME faculty and staff frequently provide presentations for Indianapolis area community groups, and the Fairbanks Lecture Series is free and open to the public.