Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics

The first of its kind in the nation, the Treuman Katz Center improves the lives of children and their families by addressing ethical questions that arise in pediatric care and research. Learn more.

Programs and Resources

The Treuman Katz Center serves as a national resource, helping physicians, researchers and policymakers advance their knowledge of bioethics and navigate complex moral dilemmas.

Center Highlights

Key Partnerships

Partnerships are an essential part of the Treuman Katz Center’s mission. Our researchers collaborate with colleagues across the nation and around the world in pursuit of answers to complex bioethics questions.

Our partners include the Center for Clinical and Translational Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the Department of Bioethics and Humanities and the Institute of Translational Health Sciences at the University of Washington.

Bioethics Consultations

Our bioethicists provide practical guidance to families, providers, researchers and policymakers about patient care, public health and research issues. Our consultation service is available to colleagues throughout Seattle Children’s and the University of Washington, and we offer informal advice to people at outside institutions. Learn more about our services.


Gilmore MJ, Schneider J, Davis JV, Kauffman TL, Leo MC, Bergen K, Reiss JA, Himes P, Morris E, Young C, McMullen C, Wilfond BS, Goddard KA. Reasons for declining preconception expanded carrier screening using genome sequencing. Journal of Genetic Counseling. Oct 2017;26(5):971-979.

Opel DJ, Schwartz JL, Omer SB, Silverman R, Duchin J, Kodish E, Diekema DS, Marcuse EK, Orenstein W. Achieving an optimal childhood vaccine policy. JAMA Pediatrics. Sept 2017;171(9):893-896.

Weise KL, Okun AL, Carter BS, Christian CW; [Opel, DJ] Committee on Bioethics; Section on Hospice and Palliative Medicine; Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. Guidance on forgoing life-sustaining medical treatment. Pediatrics. Sept 2017;140(3):e20171905.

Carpenter D, Gonzalez D, Retsch-Bogart G, Sleath B, Wilfond B. Methodological and Ethical Issues in Pediatric Medication Safety Research. Pediatrics. Sept 2017;140(3):pii:e20170195.

Gupta AA, Chi YY, Anderson JR, Lyden E, Weigel B, Arndt C, Meyer WH, Rosenberg A, Hawkins DS. Patterns of chemotherapy-induced toxicities and outcome in children and adolescents with metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma: A report from the Children's Oncology Group. Pediatric Blood & Cancer. Sep 2017;64(9).

Schulte F, Russell KB, Cullen P, Embry L, Fay-McClymont T, Johnston D, Rosenberg AR, Sung L. Systematic review and meta-analysis of health-related quality of life in pediatric CNS tumor survivors. Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 2017 Aug;64(8).

Wightman AG. Reflections on a question: "Would you offer dialysis?"American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Aug 2017;70(2):A9-A10.

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Our Experts in the Media

  • The tragic Charlie Gard case and what we can learn from it – 08.11.17 - Seattle Times
    “Medical cases like Charlie Gard’s ignite public debate about what should happen when hospitals and courts disagree with families about what is best for a child…We should strive to remember, at a minimum, that reasonable people disagree about the best way to proceed in cases like these,” write op-ed authors Seema K. Shah, Abby Rosenberg and Doug S. Diekema. All three are faculty at the UW School of Medicine and at the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.
  • Could Charlie Gard's case happen in the United States?
    07.06.17 - CNN
    Although a Charlie Gard case could happen in the United States, "it seems unlikely," said one pediatric bioethicist from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. Similar cases in the U.S. tend to be resolved in favor of parental rights, he explained. Seema Shah, a lawyer and ethicist who is a faculty member at the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children's Research Institute, explained that U.S. courts consider "parental discretion," not parental responsibility. American parents have "discretion to make decisions" on behalf of their children, Shah said, "up to the point where their decisions are going to cause harm to their children."
    Could Charlie Gard’s case happen in the United States?GANT News
  • ‘Intactivists’ Oppose Circumcision of Children
    04.14.17 – Houston Chronicle
    Since 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics’ official position has been that the procedure’s benefits outweigh the risks. Seattle Children’s pediatrician Dr. Douglas Diekema, who was on the AAP task force that issued the 2012 statement, was quick to qualify that. “From a personal perspective I would say better terminology is ‘The benefits justify the risks,’” he said during an interview. “But different people weigh the risks differently.”
  • In Pausing Human Research on Zika, Medical Ethicists Acknowledge a Dark Past
    03.21.17 – WBUR CommonHealth
    The National Institutes of Health called for an ethics consultation on the study which involved deliberately infecting a small group of consenting adults with the Zika virus to learn about the disease and speed up the search for a vaccine. The panel’s chair – lawyer, ethicist and pediatrics professor Seema Shah, of the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Research Institute – is mentioned in the article.
  • Doctors’ guidance on how to talk to terminally ill teens
    10.17.16 – CBS News
    A paper published in JAMA Pediatrics argues that when it comes to adolescents or teens with a life-threatening illness, telling the truth is the best option. Dr. Abby Rosenberg, medical director of Seattle Children’s Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program, and her colleagues reviewed ethical justifications for and against having direct truth-telling conversations with adolescents.