Introducing Our 2016 GBEI Scholars

No items found.
No items found.
Back to Dignitas Issue

Jacob J.E.Koopman, MD PhD (2016 Recipient)

Dr. Koopman comes to CBHD from the Netherlands. He graduated with honors in both Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, where he also completed doctoral research on aging. Upon returning to the Netherlands, he will start his clinical specialist training in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Koopman’s interest in bioethics focuses on end-of-life concerns. Parallel to his studies and research, he has published articles in Dutch scientific, ethical, and political websites and journals. These articles cover such issues as the meaning of human dignity, the relation between dignity and autonomy, and physician-assisted death. For the Prof. Dr. G.A. Lindeboom Institute, he has participated in a study that explores nonmedical—or perhaps supermedical—means to relieve suffering at the end of life, which will soon be developed into a book.

During CBHD’s Summer Conference, Dr. Koopman presented on the developments in physician-assisted dying in the Netherlands—a version of which is published in this issue of Dignitas. These developments reveal a normalization and expansion of the practice of physician-assisted dying in the Netherlands and may, therefore, be of warning to countries and states that have more recently decided or are currently considering to legalize the practice. Dr. Koopman has also written a short description of these developments, together with Dr. Theo Boer, a member of CBHD’s Academy of Fellows,  in The American Journal of Medicine, entitled “Turning Points in the Conception and Regulation of Physician-Assisted Dying in the Netherlands.”[1]

As a GBEI Scholar, Dr. Koopman has explored questions regarding end-of-life care, such as: Under what conditions can death be regarded as dignified or good? What are the responsibilities of the physician and the patient at the end of life? For this, he made use of the varied expertise of CBHD’s staff and the resources in CBHD’s Research Library.  

Of his time with CBHD, Dr. Koopman says, “I am deeply grateful for the GBEI Fellowship. Strengthened by my experience at the Center, I hope to continue to counter the dominantly secular-liberal bioethical debates in the Netherlands.”


[1] Jacob J. E. Koopman and Theo A. Boer, “Turning Points in the Conception and Regulation of Physician-Assisted Dying in the Netherlands,” The American Journal of Medicine in press, 2016. This description is freely accessible through the journal’s website,, accessed July 19, 2016.

Hélio Angotti Neto, MD, PhD (2016 Recipient)

Dr. Angotti Neto comes to CBHD from Brazil. He graduated in Medicine at the Federal University of Espírito Santo, in Brazil and has completed his residence program in Ophthalmology at the University of São Paulo, where he also concluded his doctoral research in Medical Sciences.

Dr. Angotti Neto’s interest in bioethics focuses on the legacy and culture of medical ethics, with particular interests in the Hippocratic tradition, the beginning of life, and biopolitics. He has published A Morte Da Medicina (Vide Editorial, 2014), a book about infanticide and human dignity, along with several articles in journals and websites.

During CBHD’s Summer Conference, Dr. Angotti Neto presented a paper on the value of the Hippocratic Oath for contemporary medical culture and its classification according to the Aristotelian Theory of the Four Discourses. His research will be published as an essay in the Legacy of Medicine in Brazil, and is a part of a greater project in medical history and culture to reclaim a Christian Hippocratic perspective.

As a GBEI Scholar, Dr. Angotti Neto explored several questions regarding the history of medicine in Ancient Greece, in the Roman Empire, and in early Christianity. He also examined explored Edmund Pellegrino’s life and his work utilizing CBHD’s Research Library and especially The Edmund D. Pellegrino Special Collection in Medical Ethics and Philosophy. In addition, he initiated several conversations at the Center and during the Summer Conference around his hopes to establish a network for Christian bioethics among Brazilian scholars and opportunities to collaborate with organizations in the U.S.

Dr. Angotti Neto says, “The opportunity [afforded by] the GBEI Scholars program was something that can open new avenues for research and debate in Brazil, offering a true Christian perspective for the challenging field of bioethics.”