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.

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.


Barton KS, Tate T, Lau N, Taliesin KB, Waldman ED, Rosenberg AR. "I'm not a spiritual person." How hope might facilitate conversations about spirituality among teens and young adults with cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2018 Jun;55(6):1599-1608.

Richards CA, Starks H, O'Connor MR, Bourget E, Lindhorst T, Hays R, Doorenbos AZ. When and why do neonatal and pediatric critical care physicians consult palliative care? American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care. 2018 Jun;35(6):840-846.

Wightman A, Kett JC, Wilfond B. Responding to parental requests for life-sustaining treatment—relational potential revisited. Acta Paediatrica. 2018 Jun;107(6):923-926.

Punj S, Akkari Y, Huang J, Yang F, Creason A, Pak C, Potter A, Dorschner MO, Nickerson DA, Robertson PD, Jarvik GP, Amendola LM, Schleit J, Simpson DK, Rope AF, Reiss J, Kauffman T, Gilmore MJ, Himes P, Wilfond B, Goddard KAB, Richards CS. Preconception carrier screening by genome sequencing: Results from the clinical laboratory. American Journal of Human Genetics. 2018 Jun 7;102(6):1078-1089.

Opel DJ, Zhou C, Robinson JD, Henrikson N, Lepere K, Mangione-Smith R, Taylor JA. Impact of childhood vaccine discussion format over time on immunization status. Academic Pediatrics. 2018 May-Jun;18(4):430-436.

Jecker NS, Wightman AG, Rosenberg AR, Diekema DS. Fairly allocating space in an immunotherapy production facility: Reply to critics. American Journal of Bioethics. 2018 May;18(5):W9-W12.

Kraft SA, Cho MK, Gillespie K, Varsava N, Ormond KE, Wilfond BS, Lee SS. Trustworthiness in untrustworthy times: response to open peer commentaries on Beyond Consent. American Journal of Bioethics. 2018 May;18(5):W6-W8.

Weiss EM, Xie D, Cook N, Coughlin K, Joffe S. Characteristics associated with preferences for parent-centered decision making in neonatal intensive care. JAMA Pediatrics. 2018 May 1;172(5):461-468.

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Our Experts in the Media

  • The circumcision debate: A brief history – 6.25.18 – Crixeo
    In the U.S., there is controversy surrounding circumcision. In a 2012 policy statement, the AAP found that “preventive health benefits of elective circumcision of male newborns outweigh the risks of the procedure.” The health benefits cited in the report included a slightly reduced risk (about 1%) of urinary tract infections during the first year of life, lower risk of HIV and other STDs, and lower risk of penile cancer. The risks of circumcision were more difficult to define. Dr. Douglas Diekema, a pediatrician with the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, is a coauthor of the AAP policy statement. “There are risks, but the incidence of serious adverse events is very low when performed by an experienced practitioner using sterile technique,” Diekema said. “The most common complications are minor and include bleeding, which stops with a few minutes of applied pressure, and minor skin infections.”
    The circumcision debate: A brief history – Blogarama
  • Can we respectfully disagree? Navigating cultural differences in healthcare – 6.20.18 – On the Pulse
    Providers often must negotiate with patients and families, but how should disagreements be addressed when the discrepancy is rooted in the patient’s culture or beliefs? Bioethics consultant Dr. Doug Diekema, director of education in the Treuman Katz Center, discussed how we should navigate ethical disagreements related to diversity in a Q&A.
  • Low vaccination rates in King County cause for concern – 6.15.18 –
    King County had the third-highest number of parents claiming exemptions from vaccine requirements for their children last year, according to a new study. Experts warn that this may leave residents of Washington’s most populous county vulnerable to outbreaks of deadly disease. While doctors can’t say with certainty what causes any given outbreak, “there is good data to suggest that unvaccinated children are at risk for serious infections and can promote the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases in their community,” said Dr. Doug Opel, general pediatrician at Seattle Children’s and associate professor of pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine.
  • Vaccines work, whether or not you believe in them – 6.3.18 – TWiV (This Week in Virology)
    Dr. Douglas Diekema is one of the experts interviewed about vaccine facts and fiction at the Vaccines in the 21st Century meeting at the University of California, Irvine.
  • Build resilience in kids to prevent suicide – 5.25.18 –
    Suicide is the number one cause of death for children in Washington state between 10–14 years old. Building resilience is one way parents or caregivers can help their kids better navigate difficult times. Dr. Abby Rosenberg is a pediatric oncologist at Seattle Children's Hospital who studies resilience among young cancer patients, and she shared three findings on how we can build resilience in all children.
  • Deep Dive: Building resilience – 5.24.18 –
    The number-one cause of death in children in Washington state between ages 10–14 is suicide. One of the major ways to prevent suicide is resilience, a person’s ability to adapt to stress and change. Dr. Abby Rosenberg at Seattle Children’s has studied resilience in kids who are facing cancer. Rosenberg said resilience can be developed and used for any type of adversity, and you can get it by developing resources. The three types of resources for building resilience are: individual, community and beliefs.
  • New ethics encourage engagement with indigenous community – 5.9.18 – Kansas Ag Connection
    A collaborative group of indigenous and nonindigenous scholars encourages scientists to meaningfully engage with indigenous communities on paleogenomics research in a new series of ethical guidelines published in the journal Science. Dr. Nanibaa’ Garrison, a bioethics professor at Seattle Children's Research Institute and the University of Washington School of Medicine and a co-author of the report, said engaging communities at the outset is critical for understanding their concerns or questions about research involving ancient relatives.
  • Considering indigenous communities when researching ancient human remains – 5.3.18 – BBC News
    BBC Radio 4 spoke with Dr. Nanibaa’ Garrison, a bioethicist at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the UW School of Medicine, about an article in the journal Science that she co-authored on the ethical guidelines in paleogenomic research involving ancient human remains.
  • Respect Indigenous ancestors: Scholars urge community engagement before research – 4.26.18 –
    A new article in the journal Science provides guidance for those intending to study ancient human remains in the Americas. The paper offers a clear directive: First, do no harm. "Engaging communities at the outset is critical for understanding their concerns or questions about research involving ancient relatives. Without feedback from the community, scientific interpretations remain one-sided and inherently biased," said Dr. Nanibaa Garrison, a bioethics professor at Seattle Children's Research Institute and the UW School of Medicine, and a co-author of the article.
  • Commentary: Trying to learn the lesson of Kennewick Man – 4.26.18 – UW Medicine Newsroom
  • New ethical guidelines encourage scientists to engage with indigenous communities before studying ancient remains – 4.24.18 – KU News Service