Seminar Series: The Ethics of Surrogate Decision-Making by David Wendler, PhD, MA

Monday, Apr 25, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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We rely on surrogates to make treatment decisions for patients who are unable to make their own decisions. Unfortunately, current practice fails to promote the most important goals for surrogate decision-making. Dr. Wendler discusses these challenges and describes our current research on how we might address them.

Dr. Wendler has written widely on such topics as assent in pediatric research, assessing research risks systematically, research with stored biological samples, and protecting communities in biomedical research from exploitation. 

He is an attending on the Bioethics Consultation Service and a member of the NIH Intramural IRB. 

Actively sought out as a consultant and scholar, he has consulted on minimal risk for the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections, on research with wards of the state for the Division of AIDS of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and pediatric research for the Institute of Medicine. He also has been a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia, and has lectured at the University of Bergen’s School of Medicine in Norway, Georgetown University, and at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. 

Dr. Wendler earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He came to NIH in 1993 as a postdoctoral fellow with the Clinical Bioethics Program and became head of the Unit on Vulnerable Populations in 1996. He was a University fellow in Ethics at Harvard University from 2006 to 2007. He was named a senior investigator in 2014 and became head of the section on Research Ethics.