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James F. Childress, Director:


Jim Childress is the John Allen Hollingsworth Professor of Ethics and Professor of Medical Education. He served as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, 1972-1975 and 1986-1994, as Principal of UVA's Monroe Hill College from 1988 to 1991, and as co-director of the Virginia Health Policy Center 1991-1999. In 1990 he was named Professor of the Year in the state of Virginia by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. And in 2002 he received the University of Virginia's highest honor, The Thomas Jefferson Award. (See Matt Kelly, "University's highest honor is given to Childress," Inside UVA, November 8, 2002)

In 2004, Childress received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities; this award “recognizes outstanding contributions and significant publications that have helped shape the direction of the fields of bioethics and humanities.” In 2007, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation at the University of Virginia awarded Childress the Jefferson Faculty Prize, which recognizes “the commitment of outstanding University of Virginia faculty members to leadership, scholarship, and citizenship. (PDF) (LINK) He and Tom L. Beauchamp, his co-author on Principles of Biomedical Ethics, also received the Pellegrino Medal from Stamford University, and the Benjamin Rush Medal from the College of William and Mary School of Law.

Childress is the author of numerous articles and author of several books in ethics, especially biomedical, ethics, political ethics, and religious ethics. His books in biomedical ethics include Principles of Biomedical Ethics, with Tom L. Beauchamp (now in its sixth edition and translated into several other languages); Priorities in Biomedical Ethics; Who Should Decide? Paternalism in Health Care; and Practical Reasoning in Bioethics. His other books include Civil Disobedience and Political Obligation and Moral Reasoning in Conflicts. He is also the co-editor of Secularization and the Protestant Prospect, with David Harned; The Dictionary of Christian Ethics, 2nd ed. with John Macquarrie; Christian Ethics: Problems and Prospects, with Lisa Sowle Cahill; Belmont Revisited: Ethical Principles for Research with Human Subjects, with Eric M. Meslin and Harold T. Shapiro; and Organ Donation: Opportunities for Action, co-edited with Catharyn T. Liverman.

Childress was vice chair of the national Task Force on Organ Transplantation, and he has also served on the Board of Directors of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the UNOS Ethics Committee, the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, the Human Gene Therapy Subcommittee, the Biomedical Ethics Advisory Committee, and several Data and Safety Monitoring Boards for NIH clinical trials. From 1996 to 2001, he served on the presidentially-appointed National Bioethics Advisory Commission.

Childress is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, in 1998, was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a fellow of the Hastings Center. He has been the Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. Professor of Christian Ethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University (1975-79) and a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School and Princeton University.

He received his B.A. from Guilford College, his B.D. from Yale Divinity School, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University.