The Center for Clinical Ethics and Humanities in Health Care, established at the University at Buffalo in 1994, is now the Romanell Center for Clinical Ethics and the Philosophy of Medicine. The name change honors the 2003 testimentary gift bestowed by Edna Romanell, while reflecting a focus on bioethics in today's complex health care concerns. As a multi-disciplinary center with a long tradition of coordinating academic activities, the Center is poised to expand collaborative research and experience-based learning at UB to better serve the communities of Western New York, Southern Ontario, and borders beyond our own.

  • Romanell Center Speaker Series.

    Romanell Center Spring 2021 Speaker Series

    Pat Lee (Franciscan University MacAleer Chair in Bioethics)

    What Should Be the Overarching Natural End (Goal) of Human Life?

    April 23, 2021, Friday from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, join us online as Patrick Lee delivers the talk, "What Should Be the Overarching Natural End (Goal) of Human Life?". The event is part of the Spring 2021 Speaker Series hosted by the Romanell Center. For further information contact Jonathan Vajda, jvajda@buffalo.edu

    Patrick Lee, PhD.

    Patrick Lee, PhD

    Bio: Patrick Lee is a professor of philosophy and holds the John N. and Jamie D. McAleer Chair in Bioethics. He is also the director of the Center for Bioethics at Franciscan University of Steubenville. In this capacity he defends and articulates the Church’s position on a wide range of human life issues through his writings, debates, and public speaking engagements. He received a B.A. from the University of Dallas, an M.A. from Niagara University, and a Ph.D. from Marquette University. He taught for eleven years at the University of St. Thomas in Houston before coming to Franciscan University in 1992. He is a member of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and Society of Christian Philosophers.  Faculty profile.


We invite you to join the Romanell Center ListServe to receive timely announcements about our events, zoom lectures, conferences, workshops, blog updates, upcoming activities, and much more. To join our ListServ, please send your name, affiliation (if any), and your email address Jonathan Vajda, jvajda@buffalo.edu


April 23, Pat Lee (Franciscan University MacAleer Chair in Bioethics) Topic: What Should Be the Overarching Natural End (Goal) of Human Life?  

April 30, David Shoemaker (Tulane/Cornell) “Lessons from Psychopaths: Humor, Morality, and Responsibility"

May 14, Alan Shewmon (UCLA Medical School Emeritus) Read ahead workshop on “Constructing the Death Elephant: A Synthetic Paradigm Shift for the Definition, Criteria, and Tests for Death”

May 21, Matthew Liao (New York University Zitrin Chair of Bioethics, Director of the Center for Bioethics. “A Right Response to Anti-Natalism” Read-ahead worshop

May 28, Jason Eberl (Saint Louis University Professor of Health Care Ethics and Philosophy, Director, Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics) “Does Enhancement Violate Human ‘Nature”?

June 11, Jeff McMahan (Oxford University White Professor Moral Philosophy) “Moral Reasons to Cause Well-off People to Exist”. Will likely be a read ahead workshop

June 25, Peter Koch (Villanova University) “Why Psychiatrists Can't Get Consent for Psychopathy Assessments”  


  • March, Dan Sulmasy PhD/MD (Georgetown University, Director of Pellegrino Center)  “Whole-brain death and integration: realigning the ontological concept with clinical diagnostic tests” 
  • April, Harvey Berman (UB Med School) 
  • May, Phil Reed (Canisius College)
  • June, Jeremy Williams (University of Birmingham, England) paper “On Anti-Abortion Violence”.

The Romanell Discussion Blog is here.

Since retiring from clinical medicine, Jack Freer has been spending more time working on pastel painting. This image depicts a scene in Florence during a 1629-31 outbreak of bubonic plague.