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 Chief Educator 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 and Distinguished Alumnus in Philosophy with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, George Mason University. He is adjunct faculty at both the Department of Philosophy and Religion at American University and the Department of Philosophy at the George Washington University. He also serves as adjunct clinical faculty with Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and is 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, the role of values in neuroscience, and the incorporation of assistive technologies in neurologic 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 Senior Clinical Ethicist 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.

Benjamin Krohmal, JD, HEC-C  is Acting Director of the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics and is responsible for the daily operations and management of the Center. Krohmal conducts scholarly research in bioethics and serves as a clinical ethics consultant and chair of the hospital’s Ethics Policy Subcommittee. He is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. 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 COVID-19, 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.

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.


Michael Pottash, MD, MPH is a physician of palliative medicine at Medstar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of clinical medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He completed fellowships in palliative medicine and clinical ethics at North Shore University Hospital and a certificate program in bioethics at Hofstra University School of Law. He trained in primary care internal medicine at Jacobi Medical Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine after completing medical school at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Medicine. Prior to medical school, he completed a masters in public health at Boston University School of Public Health. Dr Pottash serves his community as a member of the ethics committees at Medstar Washington Hospital Center and Children’s National Medical Center, a voting member scientist of the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science Institutional Review Board, and as a medical editor of the Journal for Hospital Ethics at the John J Lynch, MD Center for Ethics.

Matthew P. Schreiber, MD, MHS, FCCP chairs the MedStar Washington Hospital Center Bioethics Committee and has served MedStar Health through policy development and participation in various other efforts (Ethics Consultation Sub-Committee, Learning From Every Death Committee, Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation Committee, Dying with Dignity Steering Committee) . As a practicing critical care physician, Dr. Schreiber maintains an academic interest in patient outcomes resulting in national presentations and peer-reviewed publications. He is well known to the MedStar Health system having completed both his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Pulmonary Disease / Critical Care Medicine within the MedStar Washington Hospital Center / Georgetown University Hospital programs. Dr. Schreiber sums up his professional mantra by asking, “what can we do today to make tomorrow better for our patients?”

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