Paul Ramsey Award Committee

William Hurlbut, M.D.
Jennifer Lahl, R.N., M.A.
Aaron Kheriaty, M.D.
Gilbert C. Meilaender, Ph.D.

William Hurlbut, M.D., is a physician and Consulting Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University Medical Center. After receiving his undergraduate and medical training at Stanford, he completed postdoctoral studies in theology and medical ethics, studying with Robert Hamerton-Kelly, the Dean of the Chapel at Stanford, and subsequently with the Rev. Louis Bouyer of the Institut Catholique de Paris.

His primary areas of interest involve the ethical issues associated with advancing biomedical technology, the biological basis of moral awareness, and studies in the integration of theology and philosophy of biology.

Dr. Hurlbut is the author of numerous publications on science and ethics including the co-edited volume Altruism and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue, and “Science, Religion and the Human Spirit” in the Oxford Handbook of Science and Religion. He has organized and co-chaired two multi-year interdisciplinary faculty projects at Stanford University, “Becoming Human: The Evolutionary Origins of Spiritual, Religious and Moral Awareness,” and “Brain Mind and Emergence.”

Dr. Hurlbut has testified to the National Academy of Sciences Embryonic Stem Cell Research Guidelines Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. In addition, he has made presentations to UNESCO, the Pan American Health Organization, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars as well as at major medical centers and universities around the world.

From 2002-2009 Dr. Hurlbut served on the President’s Council on Bioethics. He is the author of Altered Nuclear Transfer, a proposed technological solution to the moral controversy over embryonic stem cell research.

Aaron Kheriaty, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Bioethics Program at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine. He serves as chairman of the medical ethics committees at UCI Health and at the CA Department of State Hospitals. Dr. Kheriaty graduated from the University of Notre Dame in philosophy and pre-medical sciences, earned his MD degree from Georgetown University, and completed residency training in psychiatry at UCI. He has authored books and articles for professional and lay audiences on bioethics, social science, psychiatry, and religion. His work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and First Things; he has conducted print, radio, and television interviews on bioethics topics with The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fox, and NPR. On matters of public policy and healthcare he has been invited to address the California Medical Association and has testified before the California Senate Health Committee. He is Senior Fellow and Director of the Program in Health and Human Flourishing at the Zephyr Institute in Palo Alto, CA, and Scholar at the Paul Ramsey Institute in San Francisco, CA.

Jennifer Lahl, R.N., M.A., is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and in senior-level nursing management with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBC, PBS, and NPR, and called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address egg trafficking. She serves on the North American Editorial Board for Ethics and Medicine and the Board of Reference for Joni Eareckson Tada’s Institute on Disability. In 2009, Lahl was associate producer of the documentary film, Lines That Divide: The Great Stem Cell Debate, which was an official selection in the 2010 California Independent Film Festival. She made her writing and directing debut, producing the documentary film, Eggsploitation, which has been awarded Best Documentary by the California Independent Film Festival, has sold in over 20 countries, and is showing all over the U.S.

Gilbert C. Meilaender, Ph.D., taught at Valparaiso University from 1996-2014, where he held the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics. Prior to teaching there, he taught at the University of Virginia and at Oberlin College. He earned his Ph.D. degree at Princeton University in 1976.

Professor Meilaender has published thirteen books and numerous articles. Among the books are Friendship: A Study in Theological EthicsBioethics: A Primer for ChristiansThe Way that Leads There: Augustinian Reflections on the Christian LifeNeither Beast Nor God: The Dignity of the Human PersonShould We Live Forever? The Ethical Ambiguities of Aging; and Working: Its Meaning and Its Limits. He is co-editor (with William Werpehowski) of the Oxford Handbook of Theological Ethics. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Christian Ethics, as an Associate Editor of Religious Studies Review, and as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics.

Bioethics is one of the areas to which Professor Meilaender has given considerable attention in his teaching and writing. He is a Fellow of the Hastings Center and was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2002 to 2009. He was the 2009 recipient of the Center for Bioethics and Culture’s Paul Ramsey Award.