Center for Bioethics and Humanities 618 Irving Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13210
(315) 464-5404

What's New. . .

29th Annual Bruce Dearing Writing Competitionfeather pen

The Center for Bioethics and Humanities announces the twenty-nineth annual writing award competition, open to all SUNY Upstate matriculated students, residents, employees, and faculty. We are accepting submissions starting December 22 until March 6, 2015. We are looking for quality fiction/non-fiction, poetry, memoir, and prose. The subject matter is open.

Submit two copies: one copy should have the writer’s name, address, and telephone number on it; students should indicate their college and class year. The second copy should include only the title with the work. Please note: one entry per writer, maximum of ten pages (2,500 words, double-spaced).

Please send to Dr. Deirdre Neilen, Center for Bioethics and Humanities, 618 Irving Avenue, or email Winners will be announced and awards given April 15. Student winners will receive a monetary award; faculty/employee winners will receive gift certificates. All submissions receive consideration in CBH’s annual journal, The Healing Muse.

Center Seminar December 5, 2014

ebola morrow quarantine

"Unintended Consequences: Ethical Decision Making in Times of Crisis."

In a crisis, key decision-makers are required to make difficult choices with little time for deliberation. Crises that are perceived to directly threaten our health are among the most challenging. Over the past few months of the Ebola outbreak in parts of West Africa, U.S. politicians and organizational leaders made key policy decisions (such as mandatory quarantine for health care workers returning from affected areas) that could have profound unintended consequences.  Dr. Morrow will challenge some of these decisions and provide a framework for ethical decision-making in times of crises, taking into account both public health and medical ethics. PowerPoint presentation PDF document from the seminar.

Dr. Cynthia Morrow is Assistant Professor of Bioethics and Humanities and of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at SUNY Upstate. In addition, she is Professor of Practice in Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. Dr. Morrow served as Commissioner of Health for the Onondaga County Health Department from 2005-2014.

The Healing Muse

Order your copy today!

the healing Muse 14The fourteenth volume of The Healing Muse, SUNY Upstate's journal of literary and visual arts published annually by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities is now available for sale. We provide a forum for artistic approaches to the body, illness, and medicine by publishing the voices and perspectives of people with illness and disability, health care practitioners, and caregivers.

We accept submissions of creative work (fiction, narrartives, essays, poems, visual art) from September 1 to May 1 each year; the journal is published in October. Submission and order information is available at

Celebration of Poetry Month with Two-Bit Haiku

2014 - In celebration of National Poetry Month, The Healing Muse installed a poetry gumball machine on the 9th floor of Weiskotten for the month of April. A mere quarter gets you a haiku from submissions we received from our Upstate community.

The journal, entering its 14th year, features writing from Upstate’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as both national and international writers. All proceeds will go to support our annual Dearing Writing Award for students.

A haiku from Laura Presita, PhD candidate, celebrates this effort:

Gumball, gumball, yum!
A quarter you paid for one.
Gumballs? You got none!

Visit The Healing Muse's Blog for more current events!

Ethics Consult Service Expands to Community Campus

Effective July 1, 2013, Upstate's Ethics Consult Service expands to provide clinical ethics consultation at the Community Campus (in addition to University Hospitals downtown campus and Crouse Hospital). Anyone directly involved in a case--physician, nurse, social work, family, patient, etc.--may ask for our input. Hours of service are 8 am to 5 pm daily, including weekends.

Call the Hospital Operator at 464.5540 to reach the Consultant on Call. Further details may be found in our brochure PDF document


Center faculty teach required ethics courses in all four colleges of SUNY Upstate. We also offer a variety of electives.

Fall 2015 Consortium for Culture and Medicine electives:

Ethics and the Health Professions

Medicine in Literature and Film

Public Health Ethics

Upcoming Events

The Healing Muse:

Submissions accepted annually September 1 through May 1.