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

  • Associate 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 associate professor at the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She is an active educator in the graduate program, teaching a variety of courses in areas related to law, pediatrics, oral health, genetics, and professionalism.  She also supervises the graduate program’s writing courses, master's capstone course, and doctoral capstone courses.

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. More recently, she has been quoted in Forbes, Insider, and The Cut, and BMJ.

She served for many years as the chair of the Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law for the American Bar Association and was the Manager of Ethics Outreach for the Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs of the American Dental Association. She is the legal consultant to the Committee on Bioethics for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She also serves on the board of the Alliance for Fertility Preservation. She was elected in 2016 to serve on the executive board of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE). In 2020, she was elected to a two-year term as board member of the Academy for Professionalism in Health Care (APHC); she was re-elected in 2022 for another two-year term. She is currently a member of the ethics committee of NorthShore University Health System. She also served as the content director for the American College of Dentists as well as the editor for the Journal of the American College of Dentists.

In 2017, she received an honorary fellowship to the American College of Dentists. This is bestowed on individuals who do not hold a dental degree but have significantly advanced the profession of oral health and have shown exceptional leadership in areas such as education, research, public health, administration, public service, or related fields of health care. This is the highest honor the ACD awards to non-dentists.


BEHL 408 Ethics, Genetics & Health Policy
BEHL 420 Advanced Topics in Bioethics and Law
BEHL 427 Professionalism & Professional Ethics
BEHL 428 Writing and Scholarship Skills
BEHL 429 Pediatric Ethics
BEHL 423 Doctoral Capstone I
BEHL 424 Doctoral Capstone II
BEHL 492 Master's Research Capstone
BEHL 491 Oral Health Ethics
BEHL 491 Bioethics of Pandemics and Public Health Preparedness
BEHL 491 Bioethics of Film and Television


Elster N, Parsi K (2023) The Infodemic and Healthcare Professionals' Ethical Obligations. Sci Tech Lawyer (Spring).

Olive EJ, Parsi K, Elster N, et al (2022) MEDICAL ETHICS: Fair Game or Fair Warning? Ethical Considerations for Social Media Use in Resident Selection - American Urological Association ( Urological Association

Elster N, Parsi K (eds) (2022) Transitioning to Adulthood with Autism: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (Springer)

Lanocha N, Tate T, Salter E, Elster N, Matheny Antommaria AH. (2021) Can Parents Restrict Access to Their Adolescent's Voice?: Deciding About a Tracheostomy. Pediatrics 147(4).

Macauley R, Elster N, Fanaroff JM. (2021) Ethical Considerations in Pediatrician's Use of Social Media. Pediatrics.

Elster N, Parsi K. (2021) Oral Health Matters: The Ethics of Providing Oral Health During Covid-19HEC Forum

Parsi K, Elster N. (2020) "You Took an Oath!": Engaging Medical Students About the Importance of Oaths and Codes Through Film and TelevisionHEC Forum:

Laventhal NBasak RDell ML,Diekema DElster N, et al (2020) The Ethics of Creating a Resource Allocation Strategy During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Pediatrics,

Elster N, Parsi K (2020) Like Autism, Representation Falls on a SpectrumThe American Journal of Bioethics 20(4): 4-5.

Elster N, Parsi K. (2020) Transitioning from Adolescence to Adulthood with Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Overview of Planning and Legal Issues. Child Adolesc Psychiatric Clinic N Am:

Reinecke JD, Elster N, Letourneau J, Bowman-Curci M. (2019) Establishing Insurance Coverage for Iatrogenic Infertility. In: Textbook of Oncofertility Research and Practice, A Multidisciplinary Approach. Spring Publishers; 317-329.

Elster N, Elliott, TC. (2018) Distinguishing Between Law and Ethics. JADA 149(12): 1005-6.

Elster N. (2018) Enhancing Shared Decision Making in Assisted Reproductive Technologies Through the Use of Multimedia Platforms for Informed Consent. Fertility and Sterility 110(7): 1267-68.

Parsi K, Elster N. (2018) Peering into the Future of Peer Review. The American Journal of Bioethics 18(5): doi: 10.1080/15265161.2018.1453686.

Parsi K, Elster N. (2018) What's in a Name? The Ethical Importance of Respecting a Patient's "Unexplained" Medical Concerns. The American Journal of Bioethics 18(5): doi: 10.1080/15265161.2018.1461467.

Soileau K, Elster N. (2018) The Hospice Patient's Right to Oral Care: Making Time for the Mouth. Journal of Palliative Care 33(2).

Campo-Engelstein L, Elster N. (2017) Developing a Sperm Banking Consent Process. The Complete Guide to Male Fertility Preservation (Springer): 169-181.

Gutmann Koch, V, Elster N (Eds). (2017) Under Attack: Reconceptualizing Informed Consent. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 45(1).

Parsi K, Elster N. (2015) Why Can't We Be Friends? A Case-Based Analysis of Ethical Issues with Social Media and Health Care. AMA Journal of Ethics 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) Ethical Dilemmas in Fertility Counseling (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.