The Center for Bioethics and Culture and the Paul Ramsey Award Nominating Committee are pleased to announce Farr A. Curlin, M.D. as the recipient of the 2018 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics. Dr. Curlin is Josiah C. Trent Professor of Medical Humanities in the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine, and Co-Director of the Theology, Medicine and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School.

Dr. Gilbert Meilaender of the Paul Ramsey Award Nominating Committee said of Dr. Curlin’s selection for the 2018 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics:

Farr Curlin’s work both as clinician and moralist exemplifies nicely a theme accented in the writings of Paul Ramsey—namely, the way in which covenant fidelity marks the practice of medicine at its best. It would be hard to find a recipient of the Ramsey prize who better reflects that covenantal understanding of medicine.

2018 Paul Ramsey Award Dinner
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Diablo, California
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Meet and hear from Dr. Curlin
Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Dr. Curlin is a hospice and palliative care physician who joined Duke University in January 2014, where he holds joint appointments in the School of Medicine and in Duke Divinity School. He works with Duke colleagues to foster scholarship, study, and training regarding the intersections of medicine, ethics, and religion.

After graduating from medical school, he completed internal medicine residency training and fellowships in both health services research and clinical ethics at the University of Chicago before joining its faculty in 2003. During his tenure there he founded and was Co-Director of the Program on Medicine and Religion at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Curlin’s empirical research charts the influence of physicians’ moral traditions and commitments, both religious and secular, on physicians’ clinical practices. As an ethicist, he addresses questions regarding whether and in what ways physicians’ religious commitments ought to shape their clinical practices in a plural democracy.

He is particularly concerned with the moral and spiritual dimensions of medical practice and the doctor-patient relationship, and with the moral and professional formation of physicians. His areas of expertise are medicine, medical ethics, doctor-patient relationship, religion and medicine, and conscience.

About The Paul Ramsey Award

The Paul Ramsey Award honors those who have made an outstanding contribution to the bioethics discussion and are actively engaged in society; facing the challenges of the 21st century, profoundly defending the dignity of humankind, and enthusiastically embracing ethical biotechnology for the human good. The Ramsey Award is given to those who have demonstrated exemplary achievement in the field of bioethics.

Who was Paul Ramsey?

Paul Ramsey is regarded by many as one of the most important ethicists of the twentieth century. He was a distinguished writer on bioethics a generation ago, and served as Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion, Princeton University. Ramsey shines as an almost lone beacon in the general darkness of academic bioethics, since his commitment to the sanctity and dignity of human life was paramount.

Previous Ramsey Award Recipients

  • 2004: Edmund D. Pellegrino
  • 2005: Germain Grisez
  • 2006: John M. Finnis
  • 2007: William E. May
  • 2008: Albert S. Moraczewski
  • 2009: Gilbert Meilaender
  • 2010: Leon Kass
  • 2011: Luke Gormally
  • 2012: Mary Ann Glendon
  • 2013: David Solomon
  • 2014: Daniel Sulmasy
  • 2015: John F. Kilner
  • 2016: Brent Waters
  • 2017: David Albert Jones