Healthcare Ethics Council—Co-Chair: Robert D. Orr, Co-Chair: Ferdinand D. Yates

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The Healthcare Ethics Council (HEC) is a community of healthcare professionals in affiliation with The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity that recognizes and engages in dignified medical healthcare and professional education in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Our Healthcare Ethics Council co-chairs are continuing to develop broad interest and participation in the HEC. If you are interested in participating, would like more information, or have recommendations for individuals we should invite, please contact us at

Co-Chair: Robert D. Orr, MD, CM

Robert D. Orr, MD, CM, is a Senior Fellow with The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity, and serves as Professor of Bioethics at The Graduate College of Union University,* Professor of Medical Ethics at Loma Linda University,* Professor of Bioethics at Trinity International University, and Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.* In addition, Dr. Orr chairs CBHD’s Advisory Board.

Dr. Orr received his MD, CM from McGill University in 1966, did residency training in family medicine, and then engaged in the private practice of family medicine in Vermont for 18 years where he was named Vermont Family Doctor of the Year in 1989. A growing interest and involvement in medical ethics led him to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago (1989- 1990).

From 1990-2000 he was the Director of Clinical Ethics at Loma Linda University in southern California, and from 2000-2006 he was Director of Clinical Ethics at Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont College of Medicine.* He was honored by the American Medical Association in 1999 when they gave him the Isaac Hays & John Bell Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics and Professionalism. In 2006 he was Scholar in Residence at the Kilns, the restored home of C.S. Lewis in Oxford, UK. In 2010, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations honored Dr. Orr by giving him the “Servant of Christ” Award.

He has authored, co-authored or edited six books, contributed 14 book chapters, and over 150 articles related to clinical ethics, the ethics consultation process, and issues in terminal care. He has given lectures on these topics regionally, nationally and internationally. He chaired the Council on Ethical Affairs for the California Medical Association, and was Vice President of the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities. He has served on the Ethics Commission of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations and served as chairman of that commission from 1991-1994.

*For identification purposes only; does not imply institutional support.

Co-Chair: Ferdinand D. Yates Jr., MD, MA

Ferdinand D. (Nick) Yates, Jr., MD, MA, is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, State University of New York at Buffalo. He is also the senior pediatrician and cofounder of Genesee-Transit Pediatrics, LLP. He earned Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry in 1974 and Doctor of Medicine in 1978 from The University of Virginia. He completed a residency in general pediatrics at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, New York and subsequently entered private pediatric practice in 1981. Dr. Yates graduated cum laude with MA Bioethics from Trinity International University in 2004.

Dr. Yates is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics for which he has intermittently served on the Executive Committee for the Section on Bioethics. In addition he is a member of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations where he has been mostly involved with the Ethics Commission. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the American College of Pediatricians. In Buffalo, he has been a member of the ethics committees for both the Catholic Health System and for the Kaleida Health System.

As a medical ethicist, Dr. Yates offers bedside ethics consultations assisting in critical care decision-making at the bedside of adults and children. In addition, he is actively involved in the education of medical students and hospital resident staff. In the Buffalo community, Nick volunteers at Cornerstone Manor – a shelter for women and children – where he examines the children and educates parents as they reside at the shelter.

Nick and his wife Jackie worship at Randall Memorial Baptist Church, and they are blessed with two grown daughters.

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