Robert M Veatch


Emeritus Faculty
Senior Research Scholar, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Professor of Medical Ethics, Emeritus


Department of Philosophy
General profile



+1 202-687-6832

Alt. phone





Office hours

M-Th 9-12, 1-5


Robert M. Veatch, Ph.D., is Professor of Medical Ethics and the former Director of the Kennedy Institue of Ethics at Georgetown University. He holds an appointment as Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical Center. He is the Senior Editor of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal and a former member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Medical Association. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Purdue University (1961), a Masters of Science in Pharmacology from the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco (1962), and a Ph.D. concentrating in medical ethics from Harvard University in 1970. He was formerly Director of the Research Group on Death and Dying at the Hastings Center in New York.

He served as an ethics consultant in the preparation of the legal case of Karen Ann Quinlan, the woman whose parents won the right to forego life-support (1975-76) and testified in the case of Baby K, the anencephalic infant whose mother insisted on the right of access to ventilatory support.

He has received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Creighton University in 1999 and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Union University in 2004. He received the National Book Award from the National Medical Writers Association for Case Studies in Medical Ethics, the Distinguished Achievement Award of the United Methodist Association (2002), the Research Career Achievement Award from Georgetown University (2005), and the Lifetime Achievement Award, American Society of Bioethics and Humanities in 2008. He was the Gifford Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh in 2008.


Download cv.doc


  • Ph.D. (1971) Harvard University, Religion and Society
  • M.A. (1970) Harvard University, Religion and Society
  • B.D. (1967) Harvard Divinity School,
  • M.S. (1962) University of California Medical Center, San Fran., Pharmacology
  • B.S. (1961) Purdue University, Pharmacy