Albany Medical College Announces New Programs in Bioethics


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Albany Medical College Announces New Programs in Bioethics

August 18, 2011 - Albany , NY

More Medical Professionals Seeking Ethics Training to Address the Increased
Difficulty of Caring for Patients as Technology Advances and Costs Soar

ALBANY, N.Y., August 18, 2011-The Alden March Bioethics Institute (AMBI) at Albany Medical College has added three new programs, including a first-of-its-kind online fellowship in clinical ethics consultation and an online Master of Science in Bioethics with a concentration in clinical ethics consultation. AMBI will also offer a dual degree with Cumberland Law School in Birmingham, Ala.

"Health care professionals are making increasingly complex ethical decisions that require them to weigh the risks, benefits and costs of providing patients with life sustaining or life changing health procedures," said Bruce White, D.O., J.D., professor of pediatrics and John A. Balint Chair of Medical Ethics at Albany Medical College. "We're expanding our online degree programs to train the professionals who are trying to meet the growing demand for ethical consultations, while at the same time offering dual degree programs to future lawyers who may advocate on behalf of patients or counsel families."

Since June 2010, New York State has required that hospitals, nursing homes and hospice have an ethics committee or access to an ethics committee to help patients, family members and health care providers address ethical issues or conflicts that arise when someone is ill. These ethics committees are often comprised of a range of individuals, including physicians, nurses, case managers, social workers, lawyers and clergy.

The first program of this type in the nation, the AMBI virtual fellowship is an online forum designed for health care professionals interested in offering clinical ethics consultation services. Students will dig into complex issues such as end-of-life care, what to do when patients request medically inappropriate treatments, and how to assist vulnerable adults and children. Officially known at the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Clinical Ethics Consultation, the fellowship, which consists of four 10-week courses and one onsite course, is an extension of AMBI's Certificate in Clinical Ethics Program.

The New York State Department of Education also has granted approval to AMBI to offer a Master of Science in Bioethics with a concentration in clinical ethics consultation. This degree enables those with a traditional master's degree in bioethics to hone in on the core skills needed for independent consultation in the health care setting.

In addition, a joint degree with Samford University's Cumberland Law School in Birmingham, Ala., will enable a student to complete the requirements for AMBI's Master of Science in Bioethics online while also obtaining a Juris Doctorate (law degree). AMBI has offered a similar joint degree in conjunction with Albany Law School for the past five years.

Enrollment for all three programs is open immediately.

One of the pioneers in providing bioethics in medical education, the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College was founded in 1993 to provide medical ethics education, develop an ethics consultation service, and promote high quality, useful research and scholarly works on important ethical issues. The Center's programs include required coursework in medical ethics for Albany Medical College students, an on-site and online master's program in bioethics, and a Scholar's Program in Bioethics for medical students. AMBI operates a full-time ethics consultation service at Albany Medical Center Hospital for physicians, nurses and other health care providers, patients and their families. Information about AMBI is available at For more information about the new programs, visit or call (518) 262-2639.


Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York's only academic health sciences center, is the largest private employer in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals,  and which also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region's largest physicians practice with 325 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region's health and quality of life. For more information: or

Media Inquiries:

Jennifer  Freeman

(518) 262 - 3421

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