• College Hall 3

Recent Mediation News

The December 2015 issue of the Journal of Clinical Ethics included a special section on Mediation Techniques for Managing Clinical Conflict.

Upcoming Workshops

The dates for our upcoming workshops are April 28-May 1, 2016 and August 4-7, 2016. For more information, click here (April 2016) or here (August 2016).


Founded in 2005, the Clinical Ethics Mediation Program at the University of Pennsylvania is the preeminent leader in mediation training for clinical application. Professionals who complete these programs acquire valuable skills that prepare them to effectively manage conflicts caused by communication breakdowns, cultural differences, and disparate value systems. By encouraging open expression of each individual’s feelings, thoughts, values, and perspectives, mediation works to promote shared resolutions to the full spectrum of conflicts between and among healthcare providers, patients, and family members. The Penn Clinical Ethics Mediation Program has conducted over 25 on-site workshops at Penn, in addition to many others off-site at healthcare centers and universities across the country.


• On-­site mediation intensives: 4-­day, immersion experiences offered throughout the year at the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy; Penn course credit given. For information on the next available intensive course, click here.

• Off-­site mediation workshops: 1­‐4 day workshops at your location, with the same caliber of training as our on­‐site intensives, but in your setting of choice; especially effective for a clinical team or ethics consult service.

• Semester-­length course on mediation: a full credit, 14‐week seminar given annually at the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy with a focus on the history, foundational principles, and practical applications of mediation in clinical ethics disputes. A course description and syllabus are available. For information on registration, click here.

• Certificate in Clinical Ethics Mediation: a supplement to Penn’s Master of Bioethics degree; intended for MBE students/alumni who are clinically active or perform clinical ethics consultations. For more information on the certificate, click here.

• Mediation Consultation: staff members of the Clinical Ethics Mediation Program are available to mediate clinical ethics disputes on request.


Edward J. Bergman, J.D.: Founding Faculty & Principal Mediator, Penn Clinical Ethics Mediation Program

Autumn Fiester, Ph.D.: Director, Penn Clinical Ethics Mediation Program and Director of Education, Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy

Recent Scholarship from the Penn Clinical Ethics Mediation Program

2015. Journal of Clinical Ethics, Special Section: Mediation Techniques for Managing Clinical Conflict. Link to read more.

Bergman, EJ. 2013. “A Response to Dubler’s Commentary on ‘Surmounting Elusive Barriers: The Case for Bioethics Mediation,’” Journal of Clinical Ethics 24 (2): 144-147.

Bergman, EJ. 2013. “Surmounting Elusive Barriers: The Case for Bioethics Mediation,” Journal of Clinical Ethics 24(1): 1-24.

Bergman, EJ and Diamond, M. 2013. “Sickle Cell Disease and the ‘Difficult’ Patient Conundrum,” American Journal of Bioethics 13(4): 3-10.

Bergman, EJ and Fiester, A. 2014. "The Future of Clinical Ethics Education: Value Pluralism, Communication and Mediation," The Future of Bioethics, International Dialogues, A. Akabayaski, ed. Oxford University Press: 703-711.

Bergman, EJ and Fiester, AM. 2009. “Bioethics Mediation,” Penn Center Guide to Bioethics, Vardit Ravitsky, Autumn Fiester, and Arthur Caplan, eds. New York: Springer Press: 171-180.

Caplan, A and Bergman, EJ. 2007. “Beyond Schiavo,”  Journal of Clinical Ethics 18(4): 340-345.

Fiester, A. "'Quality Attestation' and the Problem of the False Positive," Hastings Center Report, in press.

Fiester, A. 2014. "Using Mediation Skills in Working with the 'Difficult' Family," Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation 21(1-2): 1-6.

Fiester, A. 2014. "Bioethics Mediation & the End of Clinical Ethics Consultation as We Know It," Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution 15(2): 501-513.

Fiester, A. 2014. "Clinical Ethics Credentialing and the Perilous Cart-Before-the-Horse Problem," American Journal of Bioethics 14(1): 25-26.

Fiester, AM. 2013. “De-escalating Conflict: Mediation and the ‘Difficult’ Patient,” American Journal of Bioethics 13(4): 11-26.

Fiester, AM. 2013. “Mediation and Recommendation,” American Journal of Bioethics 13(2): 23-24.

Fiester, AM. 2013. “A Dubious Export: The Moral Perils of American-Style Ethics Consultation,” Bioethics 27(1):ii-iii.

Fiester, AM. 2012. “The ‘Difficult’ Patient Reconceived: An Expanded Mandate for Clinical Ethics,” American Journal of Bioethics 12(5): 2-7.

Fiester, AM. 2012. “Mediation and Advocacy,” American Journal of Bioethics (12)8: 10-11.

Fiester, AM. 2011. “Ill-Placed Democracy: Ethics Consultations and the Moral Status of Voting,” Journal of Clinical Ethics 22(4): 363-372.

Fiester, AM. 2007. “Mediation and Moral Aporia,” Journal of Clinical Ethics 18(4): 355-356.

Fiester, AM. 2007. “Failure of the Consult Model: Why ‘Mediation’ Should Replace ‘Consultation,’” American Journal of Bioethics 7(2): 31-32.

Wahlert, L and Fiester, AM. 2012. “Mediation and Surrogate Decision-Making for LGBT Families in the Absence of an Advance Directive,” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9: 365-367.

For More Information

Contact Dr. Autumn Fiester at