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Christine Mitchell, RN, MS, MTS

Christine Mitchell

Contact Information

Harvard Medical School
Division of Medical Ethics
641 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-432-4020
Email: christine_mitchell@hms.harvard.edu

Skype: christine.mitchell.boston


M.S., Nursing, Boston University
M.T.S., Ethics, Harvard University

Christine Mitchell is Executive Director of the Center for Bioethics. She developed and runs an annual Harvard Bioethics Course, leads the monthly Harvard Ethics Consortium, teaches in the ethics fellowship program, and organized and co-chairs, with Bob Truog, the Ethics Leadership Council for the Harvard teaching hospitals and health care facilities. Her current research, with Judy Johnson and Bob Truog, is focused on evaluation of ethics consultation at Harvard hospitals (TEECH).

As a founding Board member of the Society for Bioethics Consultation and past President of the American Society for Law, Medicine and Ethics, she has been involved with ethics committees nationally and locally since the early 80s, including a Community Ethics Committee for Harvard hospitals which she organized with Carol Powers, a former ethics fellow and community volunteer.

Christine has made documentary films related to clinical ethics, including one which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1984, and a video for which she and film-maker Ben Achtenberg won a Freddie award in 2004. She has written a number of articles on ethics which have been published in the American Journal of Nursing, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, (for which she edits a quarterly series based on the Harvard Ethics Consortium), the New England Journal of Medicine, and Newsweek. Articles about her have appeared in Reader’s Digest and Yankee magazine.

Select Publications

  • Mitchell, C. Integrity in Interprofessional Relationships in Responsibility in Health Care, Philosophy and Medicine Series, Volume 15, Agich, GJ, (ed), Boston, MA and Dordrecht, Holland, D. Reidel Publishing C, 163-184, 1982. [Reprinted in Edwards, RB and Graber, GC. Bioethics, New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 63-72, 1989.].
  • Report of the Special Committee on Biomedical Ethics (Chair, Hoffman, P., Vice-Chair, Mitchell, C.), Values in Conflict: Resolving Ethical Issues in Hospital Care. Chicago, IL, American Hospital Association, 1985. (2nd edition completed 1993)
  • Mitchell, C. “On Heroes and Villains in the Linares Drama.” Law, Medicine and Health Care. 17:4, January 1990.
  • Mitchell, C. Ethical Dilemmas, Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America 2:3, 427-430, September 1990.
  • Coordinating Council on Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment Decision Making by the Courts, Guidelines for State Court Decision Making in Authorizing or Withholding Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment, first edition 1991, revised second edition 1993. (St. Paul, Minn, West Publishing Co).
  • Truog, R., Berde, CB, Mitchell, C., Grier HE. Barbiturates in the Care of the Terminally Ill, New England Journal of Medicine, 327:1678-1682, December 3, 1992.
  • Rosenbaum MD, Glen E., Jeffrey Burns MD, Judy Johnson JD, Christine Mitchell RN, Mary Robinson MDiv, MA, Robert D. Truog MD. Autopsy Consent Practice at US Teaching Hospitals: Results of a National Survey, Archives of Internal Medicine, 160(3), 374-80, Feb. 14, 2000.
  • Truog MD, Robert D., Jeffrey P. Burns MD, MPH, Christine Mitchell RN, Judy Johnson JD, Walter Robinson MD, MPH. Pharmacologic Paralysis and Withdrawal of Mechanical Ventilation at the End of Life, The New England Journal of Medicine, 342(7), 508-511, Feb. 17, 2000.
  • Burns JP, Mitchell C, Griffin JL, Truog RD, End-of-Life Care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit after the Forgoing of Life-Sustaining Treatment: Attitudes and Practices of Pediatric Critical Care Physicians and Nurses, Critical Care Medicine, 2000 Aug 28(8), 3060-6. Comment in: Critical Care Medicine, 2000 Aug 28(8): 3122-3.
  • Truog, Robert and Christine Mitchell, Guest Editors, Special Issue on Ethics in Pediatrics, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, 11 (2), Summer 2000.
  • Johnson, Judith and Christine Mitchell, Responding to Parental Requests to Forego Pediatric Nutrition and Hydration, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, 11(2), 128-135, Summer 2000.
  • Mitchell, Christine and Robert D. Truog, From the Files of a Pediatric Ethics Committee, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, 11(2), 2000, 112-120.
  • Mitchell, Christine, When Living Is a Fate Worse Than Death, Newsweek, August 28, 2000, p.12.
  • Mitchell, Christine, An Epilogue to “Jamie’s Story,” The Journal of Clinical Ethics, 13 (2), 151-153.
  • Mitchell, Christine, The Moral of the Story, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, 13 (2), 2002, 153-159.
  • Mitchell, Christine and Robert Truog, Irene’s Story, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, 13 (3), 2002, 230-231.
  • Mitchell, Christine, Series Editors, Cases from the Harvard Ethics Consortium, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, quarterly, 2002-ongoing.