The John J. Lynch MD Center for Ethics

In 1982, John “Jack” Lynch, the first medical oncologist in Washington, DC founded the hospital’s first Ethics Committee. A few years later, driven by the needs of the hospital, its providers, patients and families, a dedicated Center for Ethics was developed. Today, the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics serves as MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Department of Bioethics, whose consultative section responds to approximately 400 calls per year. The Center’s academic section produces internationally recognized and accredited bioethics education programming and publishes the Journal of Hospital Ethics, the only peer-reviewed and research-indexed publication from MedStar Health. The Center is additionally involved in both theoretical and clinical research resulting in policy development for the immediate institution, and continuous, leading contributions to the professional field.


Christian Carrozzo, PhD(c)is founder of the Program for Neuroethics & Clinical Consciousness (PNCC) at the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics where he serves as head of scholarship and Senior Editor to the Journal of Hospital Ethics. Christian is an advanced doctoral student with the Department of Philosophy at the University at Albany, State University of New York, adjunct faculty with the Department of Philosophy and Religion at American University, adjunct clinical faculty with Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and Co-Chair of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities' Neuroethics Affinity Group. His areas of specialty are the philosophy of mind and philosophy of neuroscience; his present research is in the cognitive science and metaphysics of consciousness, as well as the role of values in neuroscientific practice.

Cynthia Coleman, D. Bioethics, RN is Senior Clinical Ethicist at the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics. She spent 34 years as a registered nurse prior to earning her Doctorate in Bioethics and Health Policy from Loyola University, Chicago. Before joining the Lynch Center, she practiced in various clinical settings including inpatient Behavioral Health, Emergency, Interventional Radiology, a Tamoxifen Breast Cancer Prevention Clinical Trial, and hospice medicine (adults and pediatrics). She has held leadership positions in Healthcare Quality, Palliative Care program management and Home Health. She is the lead for Nursing Education and Consultation. Cynthia’s interests include moral distress, improved clinical outcomes, patient empowerment, healthcare disparities, and end-of-life care.

Evan DeRenzo, PhD is Assistant Director of the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics. She received her PhD in Human Development/Gerontology from the University of Maryland and was the first Senior Staff Fellow in bioethics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is retired adjunct faculty for The Johns Hopkins University, Graduate Program in Biotechnology. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Hospital Ethics, Co-Facilitator of the ASBH’s Organizational Ethics Affinity Group, and chairs the Center’s ethics committee’s subcommittee on organizational ethics. She holds a business process patent for tracking ethics information throughout a hospital system and is now producing the 2nd edition of her research ethics book, Writing Clinical Research Protocols: Ethical Considerations with Joel Moss and their additional co-author, Eric Singer, Rutgers University.

Nikki Glover is Administrative Coordinator of the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics. She is responsible for the management and administrative flow of the Center in support of all related projects and programming while incorporating the organization’s mission and values.

Kahlia Kéita, MA, JD is Clinical Ethics Educator & Editor at the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics, where she develops and coordinates ethics education programming. In addition, Kahlia serves as Administrator to the Journal of Hospital Ethics. Kahlia is a recent law graduate from the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of law. She completed her Master of Arts degree in Bioethics and Health Policy from Loyola University, Chicago. Her interests lie at the intersection of law, medicine, and ethics. Amongst the associations to which she is affiliated is the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, American Bar Association, and the American Health Lawyers Association.

Benjamin Krohmal, JD  is a Clinical Ethicist and head of Ethics Law and Policy at the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics. Krohmal conducts scholarly research in bioethics and serves as a clinical ethics consultant and chair of the hospital’s Ethics Policy Subcommittee. Before joining MedStar, Krohmal spent nearly a decade as a senior attorney at a multinational firm, where he specialized in anti-corruption compliance and enforcement and settled the largest international corruption case in the healthcare industry. His scholarship addresses topics including physician aid in dying, surrogate decision-making, “dual use” research, international research ethics, and just access to healthcare. Krohmal completed a fellowship in the Bioethics Department at the National Institutes of Health, graduated from Boston College Law School (Cum Laude and Order of the Coif) and received a BA in biology and philosophy from the University of Virginia (Highest Honors and Phi Beta Kappa). Krohmal is barred in Washington, DC and in New York.

Norine A. McGrath, MD, FACEP is Director of the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of the Center, assists in policy and educational program development, and serves as a clinical ethics consultant. She chairs the Bioethics Committee and serves on various hospital-wide committees. She is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians national ethics committee and the American College of CHEST Physicians’ Palliative and End-of-Life network. She is an attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor at Georgetown University. Dr. McGrath completed her fellowship in clinical bioethics at the MacLean Center for Clinical Ethics, completed her residency in emergency medicine at the University of Chicago Hospitals, and earned her medical doctorate at the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago.

John “Jack” Lynch, MD (1928-2016) founded the Center for Ethics, which developed from the work of the hospital’s ethics committee, also first convened by Dr. Lynch in 1982. Dr. Lynch was Associate Director of the Washington Cancer Institute and held the positions of Medical Director for the Center for Ethics, Ethics Committee Chair, and Medical Editor to the Journal of Hospital Ethics throughout his over 50 years at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Lynch was a pioneer in clinical bioethics, served on countless committees, and published dozens of articles on medical oncology and physician ethics. Dr. Lynch argued for the common sense view that an ethical regard for patients, families, and one’s fellow clinical providers was a natural extension of virtuous medical practice. In furthering this philosophy, the Moral Courage Awards were established in his name in 2010. The John J. Lynch, MD Moral Courage Awards is a yearly hospital program designed to recognize associates and staff at MedStar Washington Hospital Center who have exhibited the virtue of courage while confronted with ethically challenging clinical circumstances. The Center for Ethics was named after Dr. Lynch on December 9th, 2016.

Clinical Ethics Consultation Service

The John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics Clinical Ethics Consultation Service responds to all ethics related questions and concerns involving the clinical care of patients and in support of families, staff, and medical and surgical providers. Consultations are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and can be requested anonymously.

On-Call Clinical Ethics Pager: 202-801-1005