The Hastings Center

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The Hastings Center
THC logo horiz PMS color.jpg
Motto Advancing scholarship and public engagement in bioethics since 1969
Formation August 28, 1969
Type Bioethics research institute
Mildred Z Solomon[1]
Key people
Nancy Berlinger[2]
Daniel Callahan[3]
Michael K. Gusmano[4]
Josephine Johnston[5]
Gregory Kaebnick[6]
Karen Maschke[7]
Thomas H. Murray[8]
Erik Parens[9]

The Hastings Center is an independent, non-partisan bioethics research institute based in Garrison, New York.[10] Founded in 1969 and the first organization of its kind, Hastings was instrumental in establishing bioethics as a field of study.[11][12][13]

Hastings' mission is to address fundamental ethical issues in health, health care, life sciences research and the environment affecting individuals, communities, and societies. After careful consideration and analysis through a unique process that invites diverse views, Hastings scholars publish regular reports, articles and blogs, as well as specific guidelines, policy recommendations and books. They testify at Congressional and Presidential hearings and at national and global conferences.[14]

The center is funded by grant money, private donations, and subscriptions.[15][16]

Founding and location[edit]

Hastings was co-founded by Daniel Callahan[17] and Willard Gaylin and was officially recognized as a non-profit organization on August 28, 1969. Offices were originally located in Hastings-on-Hudson, then moved to the Briarcliff College site in Briarcliff Manor; and are now located in Garrison, New York, on the former Woodlawn estate designed by Richard Upjohn.[18]


Hastings is perhaps best known as the publisher of one of the world's leading journals in bioethics, Hastings Center Report, [19][20] and IRB: Ethics & Human Research,[21] which feature scholarship and commentary in bioethics for readers worldwide. Both are published six times per year. The Report also periodically features special reports, published as supplements, from the center's research projects.

Hastings publishes the Bioethics Forum,[22] a blog "offering thoughtful commentary, representing a range of perspectives, on contemporary debates in bioethics and bioethical issues in the news."[23]


Hastings' projects, carried out by interdisciplinary research teams, focus on five key program areas: Health and health care; Children and families; Aging, chronic conditions, and care near the end of life; Emerging science and conceptions of the self; and Human impact on the natural world, as well as "through-lines" like human research subjects and education.[24]

Issues can range from "stem cell politics," to globalization and its impact on health status, to "wiser" health care. Primary research areas include genetics and biotechnology, health care and health policy, ethics, science, the environment, and international science ethics. The center strives to frame and explore issues that inform professional practice, public conversation, and social policy.

Hastings conducts seminar-style meetings to review developments in science and policy, frame legal and social issues, and in-depth critical reflection on fundamental principles and values. Center research scholars write and speak on a variety of topics and assist members of the press and others.

The Morison Library serves as a resource for center research scholars, fellows, visitors, and others.[25]

Woodlawn, the Hastings Center's home in Garrison, NY

Reception and influence[edit]

The Hastings Center's 1987 "Guidelines on the Termination of Life-Sustaining Treatment and the Care of the Dying" remain the standard in the field of bioethics. Several court decisions, including the 1990 Supreme Court ruling in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, have cited the guidelines which were published in an updated version in 2013.[26]

Hastings Center staff are frequently called upon for policy advice by committees and agencies at both the Federal and state levels.[27]


Henry Knowles Beecher Awards[edit]

Since 1976, the center's Henry Knowles Beecher Award has recognized "individuals who have made a lifetime contribution to ethics and the life sciences and whose careers have been devoted to excellence in scholarship, research, and ethical inquiry." Recipients include Joanne Lynn, Edmund D. Pellegrino, Henry K. Beecher, Sissela Bok, Jay Katz, Daniel Callahan, Willard Gaylin, Paul Ramsey, Joseph Fletcher, Raanan Gillon and Hans Jonas.[28]

Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards[edit]

In 2009, the center and the Cunniff-Dixon foundation launched the Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards. Four prizes totaling $95,000 will be awarded to physicians who "have shown their care of patients to be exemplary, a model of good medicine for other physicians, and a great benefit in advancing the centrality of end-of-life care as a basic part of the doctor-patient relationship."[29] The 2010 recipients were Robert A. Milch for the established physician award, and Elisabeth Potts Dellon, Jeffrey N. Stoneberg, and Eytan Szmuilowicz for the early-career physician awards.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mildred Z. Solomon". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  2. ^ "Nancy Berlinger, Ph.D.". The Hastings Center. 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  3. ^ "Daniel Callahan, Ph.D.". The Hastings Center. 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  4. ^ "Michael K. Gusmano, Ph.D.". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  5. ^ "Josephine Johnston, LLB, MBHL". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  6. ^ "Gregory E. Kaebnick, Ph.D.". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  7. ^ "Karen J. Maschke, Ph.D.". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  8. ^ "Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D.". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  9. ^ "Erik Parens, Ph.D.". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  10. ^ "Charity Navigator Report". Charity Navigator. 
  11. ^ "Pew Forum". Pew Research Center. 
  12. ^ "Public Health and Bioethics: The Benefits of Collaboration". US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 
  13. ^ "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". 
  14. ^ "The Hastings Center Website". The Hastings Center. 
  15. ^ Guidestar
  16. ^ Internet FAQ Archives
  17. ^ Gustavus Adolphus College
  18. ^
  19. ^ Medicalxpress Analysis 2014
  20. ^ "Report". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  21. ^ "IRB: Ethics & Human Research". Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  22. ^ "The Blog of the Hastings Center Report". Bioethics Forum. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  23. ^ "What is Bioethics Forum?". Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  24. ^ / The Hastings Center
  25. ^ New York State Literary Tree
  26. ^ "Thomson Reuters FindLaw". 
  27. ^ Melvin, Tessa (1989-12-17). "Two Decades as 'Honest Brokers' for Medicine's Moral Issues". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  28. ^ "Henry Knowles Beecher Award". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  29. ^ "2012 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  30. ^ "Physicians Honored for Exemplary End-of-Life Care by Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Awards". The Hastings Center. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 

External links[edit]