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The intellectual heart of the Center’s activities was the Faculty Fellowships in Ethics program. Outstanding teachers and scholars from Harvard and other leading institutions of higher education throughout the world joined the Center to pursue a year of study designed to develop their competence to teach and write about ethical issues in public and professional life. In 1990, to ensure the future of the Center’s work, a fellowship program for graduate students was established. Both of these programs proved essential in seeding and sustaining ethics activities at Harvard and beyond and, in essence, helped create a world-wide community of scholars committed to giving ethics a prominent place in the curriculum and on the agenda of research. (See the Center’s 20th anniversary report Ethics at Harvard 1987-2007.)

The Division of Medical Ethics is dedicated to improving medical care and education by building greater awareness and understanding of the critical moral, ethical, and social dimensions of medicine. We are committed to forging links between the medical school and the larger community, as well as among Harvard’s hospitals, schools and related programs.

The founding vision of the Petrie-Flom Center is to promote scholarly inquiry that breaks away from existing disciplinary lines and brings the totality of these disciplinary methodologies under its compass.  To achieve this goal, the Center fosters the growth of a community of leading intellectuals from a variety of backgrounds and at all stages in their careers.  This environment created by the Center will produce scholarship that addresses the true legal, social and ethical challenges presented by issues at the intersection of health and law.  The Center is not an advocacy center, but is dedicated to the non-partisan promotion of important new ideas and empirical findings.