The Center for Bioethics and Culture and the Paul Ramsey Award Nominating Committee are pleased to announce Patrick T. Smith, Ph.D., as the recipient of the 2019 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics. Dr. Smith is Associate Research Professor of Theological Ethics and Bioethics; and Senior Fellow of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. Along with his appointment at the Divinity School, Professor Smith is associate faculty with the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine.

Dr. Gilbert Meilaender of the Paul Ramsey Award Nominating Committee said of Dr. Smith’s selection for the 2019 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics:

Trained both as a philosopher and as a theologian within the black Baptist tradition, Patrick Smith integrates both kinds of expertise in a way that Paul Ramsey would surely have appreciated. Focusing especially on end-of-life issues and hospice care, Patrick has helped us reflect upon issues that are of academic importance but also reach well beyond the academy. They touch all our lives.

Paul Ramsey Award Dinner
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Diablo, California
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Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Before going to Duke, Professor Smith held academic appointments as an associate professor of philosophical theology and ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and lecturer at Harvard Medical School through the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. He was core faculty for the Master of Bioethics degree program offered through Harvard’s Center for Bioethics. In addition to his work with the Center for Bioethics, he was a principal faculty member for the Initiative on Health, Religion, and Spirituality, an interfaculty initiative across Harvard University.

Professor Smith has worked professionally as the ethics coordinator for Angela Hospice Care Center in Livonia, Mich. He served on the Ethics Advisory Council for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and on the board for the Hospice Palliative Care Association of Michigan. He also has been a member of the Boston Children’s Hospital’s ethics committee.

He was named a 2016-2017 Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology. He serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. His work and service in bioethics and social ethics has spanned academic, professional, community, and ecclesial spaces.

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
  • 2018: Farr A. Curlin
  • 2019: Patrick T. Smith