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Bruce Jennings
  • Male
  • Nashville, TN
  • United States
  • Adjunct Associate Professor
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Profile Information

Job Title
Adjunct Associate Professor
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Areas of Expertise/Research Interests (List All Please)
Public Health Ethics
Environmental Ethics
Health Policy
Political Theory

Bruce Jennings Biographical Sketch

Bruce Jennings, M.A. is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society and the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University, Senior Fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature, a nonprofit research center based in Chicago that studies environmental ethics and policy, and  Senior Advisor and Fellow at The Hastings Center, where he served from 1991 through 1999 as Executive Director. In 2011 Mr. Jennings was named Editor-in-Chief of the standard reference work in the field of bioethics: Bioethics, 4th Edition, 6 vols. (Macmillan Reference USA, 2014). In 2016 he has served as associate editor of the Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene (Elsevier, forthcoming).

Mr. Jennings has been active in the health policy and end of life care arenas and has published widely on ethical issues in hospital treatment decision making, palliative care, and hospice. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and the Board of Trustees of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State. With Mildred Solomon (currently the President of The Hastings Center), he was the co-founder of the “Decisions Near the End of Life” program, an educational and practice change program that was conducted in over 200 hospitals in 20 states from 1990-1996. Among his recent works in end of life care are The Hastings Center Guidelines for Decisions on Life-Sustaining Treatment and Care Near the End of Life: Revised and Expanded Second Edition, (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Hospice Ethics: Policy and Practice in Palliative Care (Oxford University Press, 2014).

At the Center for Humans and Nature, he has focused on environmental ethics and policy, with a special emphasis on ecological governance and ecological political economy. He is the editor of the Center’s electronic journal, Minding Nature, and he is author of Ecological Governance: Toward a New Social Contract with the Earth published by the West Virginia University Press in 2016.

He has also been a leader in ethics research and education in the field of public health. From 2003-2009 he served as member and Chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For several years he has been active in the ethics section of the American Public Health Association, and in 2010 served as the chair of that group. He is chair of the Bioethics Advisory Committee of the March of Dimes. Among his recent works in bioethics and public health are: Ethics and Public Health: Model Curriculum (Association of Schools of Public Health, 2003) and Public Health Ethics: Theory, Policy and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2007); The Limits of Unlimited Selection: Regulating Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis in the United States (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2015); and Emergency Ethics: Public Health Preparedness and Response (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015).

A political scientist by training (Yale University B.A. 1971 and Princeton University M.A. 1973), Mr. Jennings has written and edited twenty seven books and has published approximately 200 articles on ethics and public policy issues.

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