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Dónal P. O'Mathúna, PhD

Dónal P. O'Mathúna, PhD


Dónal P. O'Mathúna, PhD, is Associate Professor in the College of Nursing, Ohio State University. He has research interests in both healthcare ethics and evidence-based practice (EBP). His ethics research focuses on disasters, pandemics and humanitarian crises, in particular examining ethical issues in One Health research. One Health is an increasingly important approach to global health at the intersection of human, animal and environmental factors that raise challenging ethical issues. He leads a number of funded research and training grants on One Health ethics and disaster bioethics and has contributed to ethics initiatives with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other international agencies. He is a member of WHO’s Research Ethics Review Committee. His funded research seeks to develop practical tools and support strategies that facilitate reflection on ethical issues in humanitarian research. He has spoken and published widely in bioethics, including co-editing a number of books on disaster bioethics and research ethics.

Dónal was born and raised in Ireland, and earned a BS in pharmacy from Trinity College, Dublin. He received his PhD in medicinal chemistry from The Ohio State University. After this, he pursued his interest in bioethics by obtaining an MA in Theology from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. Dónal’s research interests include: ethical issues in nanotechnology and post humanism; bioethics and disasters (; personhood in bioethics as it relates to biotechnology; critical thinking and moral reasoning in the teaching of bioethics; emotions and ethics, especially in relation to literature in teaching bioethics (including film and music); the ethical and spiritual aspects of complementary and alternative therapies; and evidence-based reviews of complementary and alternative therapies; and evidence-based reviews of complementary and alternative therapies.

Dónal is editor, alongside Bert Gordijn and Mike Clarke, of Disaster Bioethics: Normative Issues When Nothing is Normal (Springer, 2013). He has also authored Nanoethics: Big Ethical Issues with Small Technology (Continuum, 2009) and, with Walt Larimore, MD, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, updated and expanded edition (Zondervan, 2007). He edited, with Bart Cusveller and Agneta Sutton, Commitment and Responsibility in Nursing: A Faith-Based Approach (Dordt, 2004). He is working on a book for CBHD on critical thinking in bioethics. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on bioethics, some of which are available at

Dónal taught for several years at Mount Carmel College of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio until he returned to Ireland in 2003 to serve the Lord as an academic tent-maker as Senior Lecturer in Ethics, Decision-Making & Evidence in the School of Nursing, Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland. He was also on the faculty of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute and the Institute of Ethics at DCU. and Chairperson of the DCU Research Ethics Committee and the ethicist on St. James’s Hospital, Dublin ethics committee. He is a Fellow of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity's Academy of Fellows.

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