Intellectual Disability and Organ Transplantation: An Ethical Analysis

Lainie Friedman Ross, MD, PhD, joined the University of Rochester in January 2023 as Dean’s Professor and inaugural Chair, Department of Health Humanities and Bioethics and Director of the Paul M. Schyve MD Center for Bioethics with a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. Prior to her move, Dr. Ross was the Carolyn and Matthew Bucksbaum Professor of Clinical Medical Ethics; Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, Surgery and the College; Co-Director of the Institute for Translational Medicine, and Associate Director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. Dr. Ross has lectured nationally and internationally on ethical and policy issues in organ transplantation, pediatrics, genetics, and human subjects protections. She has published five books and over 400 articles. She is currently writing a 6th book examining the ethical issues related to siblings in health care that received funding from the National Library of Medicine. Clinically, Dr. Ross is a primary care pediatrician. She ran the clinical ethics consultation service at the University of Chicago for 20 years and the research ethics consultation for 25 years. Dr. Ross earned her undergraduate degree from the School of Public and International Affairs from Princeton University (1982), her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine (1986), and her doctorate in philosophy from Yale University (1996). She trained in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (1986-1988) and New York-Columbia Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital (1988-89).

Learning Objectives:

  1. Be aware of the evolving history of organ transplantation in individuals with intellectual disabilities
  2. Appreciate the variability in professional attitudes about eligibility of organ transplant depending on organ, cause and degree of cognitive disability, and living versus deceased donor transplantation
  3. Consider how conscious and unconscious biases impact Organ Transplant policies and practices


  • Lainie Friedman Ross, MD, PhD

This seminar was delivered as a Pediatric Grand Rounds Lecture at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, on May 17, 2023.

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Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • Course Certificate
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