Nanette Elster, J.D., M.P.H.

  • Assistant Professor
    Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics, Stritch School of Medicine

Advanced Degrees

  • JD, Loyola University, School of Law, Chicago, IL
  • MPH, Boston University, School of Public Health, Boston, MA



Nanette Elster, JD, MPH, is an assistant professor at the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She is Vice President of Spence & Elster, P.C., a Chicago-area law firm working in the area of family building. Professor Elster currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Jewish Genetics, the board of the Alliance for Fertility Preservation, and is a member of the American Bar Association Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law.

She has extensive experience in legal, public health and ethical issues related to women’s and children’s health. She has spoken nationally and internationally and is the author of numerous articles on the legal, health policy and ethical implications of a range of public health issues. She has appeared on such media staples as CNN, Good Morning America, the Today Show, NPR and Chicago Tonight.

She currently serves as the chair of the Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law for the American Bar Association. She is also the legal consultant to the Committee on Bioethics for the American Academy of Pediatrics.  She is also the Manager of Ethics Outreach for the Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs of the American Dental Association. She was elected in 2016 to serve on the executive board of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.




BEHP 404 Biomedical Ethics and the Law
BEHP 408 Ethics, Genetics & Health Policy
BEHP 420 Bioethics, Biotechnology and the Law
BEHP 427 Professionalism & Professional Ethics
BEHP 428 Writing and Scholarship Skills
BEHP 429 Pediatric Ethics
BEHP 492 Master's Research Capstone


Parsi K, Elster N. Why Can't We Be Friends? A Case-Based Analysis of Ethical Issues with Social Media and Health Care. AMA Journal of Ethics 2015: 17(11): 1009-1018.

Hatchett L, Elster N, Wasson K, Anderson L, Parsi K. (2015) Integrating Social Justice for Health Professional Education: Self-Reflection, Advocacy, and Collaborative Learning. Online Journal of Health Ethics 11(1).

Parsi K, Elster N. (2015) A Life of One's Own: Challenges in the Transition from Childhood to Adulthood with Autism Spectrum Disorder. AMA Journal of Ethics 17(4): 342-7.

Parsi K, Elster N. (2014) Conducting Research on Social Media - Is Facebook Like the Public Square? The American Journal of Bioethics 14(10): 63-5.

Elster N, Parsi K. (2013) Monopolizing Our Bodies? The Myriad Supreme Court Case and Issues of Access and Justice.  Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports, October.

Elster N, Galsto J. (2010) <i>Ethical Dilemmas in Fertility Counseling</i> (American Psychological Association Press).

Elster N. (2005) ART for the Masses: Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Assisted Reproductive Technologie. DePaul Health Law Journal 9(1);719-33.

Elster N. (2003) HIV and ART: Reproductive Choices and Challenges. The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy 19.

Elster N, Alcalde G. (2003) Child Fatality Review: Recommendations for State Coordination and Cooperation. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 2.

Elster N. (2002) ARTistic License: Should Assisted Reproductive Technologies be Regulated? ART: Today and Beyond, Dejonge C & Barratt C, eds.(Cambridge University Press).

Elster N. (2002) Stem Cell Research: Ethical Issues for Women in Donating Eggs and Embryos, Human Rights 29: 23-4.