People in Focus – A Tribute to Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD, MACP

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It was with great sadness that we learned in June of the passing of long-time CBHD friend and fellow Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD, MACP. Dr. Pellegrino was a frequent plenary speaker at the Center’s annual summer conference, and more recently served as a Distinguished Fellow in the Center’s Academy of Fellows. For more information on his life and work, please visit his complete bio on our website. In 2011, CBHD installed the Edmund D. Pellegrino Special Collection in Medical Ethics and Philosophy as part of the Center’s Research Library in appreciation for his work in advancing Christian bioethics and, specifically his work with the Center. More information is available at

In memory of Dr. Pellegrino’s numerous contributions to medical ethics, the foundations of bioethics, and the advancement of a distinctly Christian bioethics rooted in Judeo-Christian Hippocratism, members of the Center’s Academy of Fellows offered Tributes in his honor. For a complete listing of all of the Tributes in honor of Dr. Pellegrino, please visit

Ed Pellegrino was a gentleman, a scholar, a teacher, and a committed Christian. He had a clear understanding of professionalism and virtue. I learned so much from him and used that learning in my teaching of others. I do not have a long list of ‘heroes,’ but Dr. Pellegrino was clearly at the top. - ROBERT D. ORR, MD, SENIOR FELLOW

Ed Pellegrino has been my friend, mentor, colleague, inspiration, and hero since I first had the pleasure and honor of learning from him 21 years ago. His graciousness, clear-thinking, skilled communication, love of medicine and the physician-patient covenant, insight into the critical importance of virtue, and fierce defense of life are an amazing legacy to us. We have a substantial challenge and obligation to carry on this work and witness. - C. CHRISTOPHER HOOK, MD, SENIOR FELLOW

It is hard to imagine bioethics without him; it is even harder to imagine Christian bioethics without him. - DANIEL SULMASY, MD, PHD, SENIOR FELLOW

Ed Pellegrino held together Christian principles and virtues in his teaching and writing, but more importantly he embodied them in his life. - DENNIS P. HOLLINGER, PHD, DISTINGUISHED FELLOW

Ed Pellegrino engaged and inspired a wide range of people in bioethics and beyond with his passion for virtuous medicine and his gracious character. His teaching at Trinity International University and participation in the work of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity have left a lasting mark on countless numbers of people, including myself. We celebrate his life and legacy. Medicine, ethics, the church, and the world have sustained a substantial loss with his passing. - JOHN F. KILNER, PHD, SENIOR FELLOW

Not only was Ed Pellegrino a formative influence in contemporary medical ethics, he possessed an all too rare combination of fidelity to his faith, brilliance in his thinking, and deep concern for humanity, especially those who called him their physician. - C. BEN MITCHELL, PHD, SENIOR FELLOW

Among the many scholars I have come to know, Ed Pellegrino was a rare gem. Though accomplished and much published, he was sincerely humble. He was always truly respectful of, and gracious towards, others, including those of differing views. No one would mistake him for being anything but a faithful Christian. -ARTHUR DYCK, PHD, DISTINGUISHED FELLOW

Dr. Pellegrino spoke at the first medical ethics conferences I attended in 1994. I am so thankful I became aware of him early in my career. His compassion for patients, passion for learning, and humble faith touch me deeply. They were always visible on the few occasions I had the pleasure of meeting him. His scholarship will have a lasting impact, but it is the person that he was that most impacted me. He lived out what it means to be virtuous. - DÓNAL O’MATHÚNA, PHD, CHAIR OF THE ACADEMY OF FELLOWS