Katherine Wasson, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Associate Professor, Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics,
    Stritch School of Medicine
  • Director, Honors Program in Bioethics & Professionalism

Advanced Degrees

  • MPH, Master in Public Health (2003): John Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
  • PhD, Doctorate in Philosophy(1998): The Whitefield Institute, Oxford and The Open University, UK





Dr. Wasson is an Associate Professor in The Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics at the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Wasson joined the faculty of Loyola in July 2008 and is Director of the Bioethics and Professionalism Honors Program.  She teaches in the graduate program, conducts research and serves as a clinical ethics consultant.  She is also leading efforts at the Neiswanger Institute to develop an assessment tool for clinical ethics consultation.

Dr. Wasson was a Fellow in The Ethics of Prevention and Public Health in the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at The National Cancer Institute and a Visiting Researcher at The Kennedy Institute for Ethics, Georgetown University. She was Chief of the Clinical Ethics Service and Assistant Professor in the Department of Critical Care at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Texas and worked as a clinical ethicist with a National Health Service palliative care team in central London.

She has served on multiple committees in the US and UK including IRBs, ethics committees, the Department of Health and Human Services Working Group on the Public Health Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Marketing of Genetic Tests and Services, and helped prepare evidence given to the UK House of Lords Select Committee on Euthanasia.

Research Interests

Evaluation in Clinical Ethics Consultation, Genetics/genomics, end-of-life issues, moral distress, reflection in medical education, and moral decision making.


BEHP 401 Clinical Topics in Bioethics
BEHP 410 Ethics Consultation Seminar
BEHP 430 Advanced Clinical Ethics Skills
BEHP 491 Mastering Clinical Ethics Consultation Skills


Kuczewski M, Pinkus RL, Wasson, K. An Ethics Casebook for Hospitals: Practical Approaches to Everyday Ethics Consultations, 2nd Ed. Georgetown University Press, 2018.

Wasson K, Kuczewski M, McCarthy M, Parsi K, Anderson EE, Hutchison P. Navigating Clinical Ethics: Using Real Case Constellations to Guide Learners and Teachers in Medicine. Southern Medical Journal 2017; 110(3): 195-99.

Anderson EE, Wasson K. Personal Narratives of Genetic Testing: Expectations, Emotions, and Impact on Self and Family.  Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 2015; 5(3): 229-35.

Wasson K, Anderson E, Hagstrom E, McCarthy M, Parsi K, Kuczewski M. What Ethical Issues Really Arise in Practice at an Academic Medical Center? A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Clinical Ethics Consultations from 2008 to 2013. HEC Forum 2015;27(3): DOI 10.1007/s10730-015-9293-5.

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

Wasson K, Parsi K, McCarthy M, Sidall VJ, Kuczewski M. Developing an Evaluation Tool for Assessing Clinical Ethics Consultation Skills in Simulation Based Education: The ACES Project. HEC Forum 2015; 27(1): DOI 10.1007/s10730-015-9276-6.

Wasson K, Bading E, Hardt J, Hatchett L, Kuczewski MG, McCarthy M, Michelfelder A, Parsi K.  Physician Know Thyself: The Role of Reflection in Bioethics and Professionalism Education. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 2015; 5(1): 77-86.

Wasson K, Cook ED. The Common Harm in Bioethics and Public Health. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 2014; 14(3): 449-55.

Wasson K, Cherny S, Sanders TN, Hogan NS, Helzlsouer KJ. Who Are You Going to Call? Primary Care Patients' Disclosure Decisions Regarding Direct-to-Consumer Genomic Testing. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 2014; 4(1): 53-68.

Cook ED, Wasson K. The Common Good and Common Harm. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 2013; 13(4): 617-23.

Kuczewski MG, McCarthy MP, Michelfelder A, Anderson E, Wasson K, and Hatchett L. “I will never let that be OK again,” Student Reflections on Competent Spiritual Care for Patients. Academic Medicine 2014; 89(1): 54-9.

Wasson K, Sanders TN, Hogan NS, Cherny S, Helzlsouer KJ. Primary Care Patients' Views and Decisions About Experience and Reactions to Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Community Genetics 2013; 4(4): 495-505.

Leggett J, Wasson K, Sinacore J, Gamelli RL. A Pilot Study of Moral Distress in Nurses Working in One United States Burn Center. Journal of Burn Care and Research 2013; 34(5): 521-8.

Wasson K, Hogan, NS, Sanders TN, Helzlsouer KJ. Primary Care Patients’ Attitudes and Decision-Making Process Regarding Direct-to-Consumer Personalized Genome Testing. American Journal of Bioethics Primary Research 2012; 3(2): 24-35.

Wasson K. Behavioral Equipoise: Is it Ready for Prime Time? American Journal of Bioethics 2011; 11(2):14-6.

Wasson K. Medical and Genetic Enhancements: Ethical issues that Will Not Go Away. American Journal of Bioethics 2011; 11(1): 21-2.

Wasson K. Direct-to-Consumer Genomics: Should a More Robust Informed Consent Process be Included? American Journal of Bioethics 2009; 9(6-7):56-8.