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In the eyes of cost-cutting hospital administrators, bioethics programs are sometimes perceived as a luxury rather than a necessity. “During periods of austerity, bioethics programs are often the first to not receive funding or not be maintained,” says Joseph J. Fins, MD, MACP, the E. William Davis, Jr. Professor of Medical Ethics and chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College, and director of medical ethics and attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. “A number of programs have recently come under threat.”

Bioethics programs called to address "new normal" under health care reform