• Chris Feudtner

Chris Feudtner, MD, PhD, MPH

  • Steven D. Handler Endowed Chair of Medical Ethics; Director, Department of Medical Ethics; Attending Physician & Research Director, PACT & ICS; The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Email: feudtner@email.chop.edu


Chris Feudtner, MD PhD MPH, is a pediatrician, epidemiologist, historian, and ethicist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and who focuses on improving the lives of children with complex chronic conditions and their families.

Chris is the Director of the Department of Medical Ethics at CHOP, and holds the Steven D. Handler Endowed Chair of Medical Ethics at CHOP, where he is also an attending physician and director of research for the Pediatric Advance Care Team (which provides palliative, end-of-life, and bereavement services) and the Integrated Care Service (which cares for hospitalized children with chronic conditions and technology-dependent health care needs). He has published over 200 articles and chapters regarding pediatric palliative care, epidemiology, health service use and quality, child outcomes, and medical ethics, with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, the National Institutes of Health, the National Library of Medicine, and private foundations.

As a historian of medicine, Chris authored a book on the history of diabetes in America, entitled Bittersweet: Diabetes, Insulin, and the Transformation of Illness (University of North Carolina Press, 2003). Chris’s clinical, teaching, mentoring, and research accomplishments have been recognized by the Stanley Stamm Role Model in Medicine Award (2000), The Class of 1990 David Cornfeld Bedside Teaching Award (2005), The Leonard Tow Humanism Award (2011), the Samuel Martin Health Evaluation Sciences Research Award (2011), the CHOP Mentor Award (2012), and a Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award (2014).

Selected Publications

Feudtner, C., Christakis, D., & Christakis, N.:

1994. Do Clinical Clerks Suffer Ethical Erosion? Students' Perceptions of Their Ethical Environment and Personal Development. Acad Medicine Vol. 69: 670-679.

Christakis, D. & Chris Feudtner:

1997. Temporary Matters: The Ethical Consequences of Transient Social Relationships in Medical Training. JAMA Vol. 278: 739-743. 

Feudtner, C. & Marcuse, K.:

2001. Ethics and Immunization Policy: Promoting Dialogue to Sustain Consensus. Pediatrics Vol. 107: 1158-1164, May 2001. 

Feudtner, C., Christakis, D., Zimmerman, F., Muldoon, J., Neff, J., Koepsell, T.:

2002. Characteristics of Deaths Occurring in Children's Hospitals: Implications for Supportive Care Services. Pediatrics Vol. 109: 887-893. 

Feudtner, C., Feinstein, J., Satchell, M., Zhao, H., Kang, T.:

2007. Shifting Place of Death Among Children with Complex Chronic Conditions in the United States, 1989-2003. JAMA 297(24): 2725-32. 

Feudtner, C.:

2007. Collaborative Communication in Pediatric Palliative Care: A Foundation for Problem-Solving and Decision-Making. Pediatric Clinics of North America 54(5): 583-607.

Feudtner, C., Carroll, K., Hexem, K., Silberman, J., Kang, T., Kazak, A.:

2010. Parental Hopeful Patterns of Thinking, Emotions, and Pediatric Palliative Care Decisionmaking: A Prospective Cohort Study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Sep;164(9):831-9.

Feudtner C, Kang TI, Hexem KR, Friedrichsdorf SJ, Osenga K, Siden H, Friebert SE, Hays RM, Dussel V, Wolfe J.:

2011. Pediatric Palliative Care Patients: A Prospective Multicenter Cohort Study. Pediatrics. May 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Feudtner C, Dai D, Hexem KR, Luan X, Metjian TA.:

2011. Prevalence of Polypharmacy Exposure Among Hospitalized Children in the United States. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011. [Epub ahead of print] 

Carroll K, Mollen CJ, Aldridge S, Hexem KR, Feudtner C.:

2012. Influences on decision making identified by parents of children receiving pediatric palliative care. AJOB Primary Research.; 3(1):1-7.


University of Pennsylvania, MD

University of Pennsylvania, PhD, History & Sociology of Science

University of Washington, MPH, Health Services Research

Lancaster University (United Kingdom), MA, History of Science

Princeton University, AB, Molecular Biology

Current Research

RO1 NR012026  Chris Feudtner, MD PhD MPH (PI) 3/11/10-2/28/15 NIH/NINR Decisionmaking in Pediatric Advanced Care This prospective cohort study will follow 125 children with life-threatening complex chronic conditions and approximately 200 parental adults, examining the process of decisionmaking longitudinally and the impact on decisionmaking of hopeful patterns of thought, positive and negative affect, and the child’s illness trajectory. Role: PI

RO1 NR012026 – 02S1  Chris Feudtner, MD PhD MPH (PI) 10/01/11-9/30/12 NIH/NINR Bioethics Supplement to Decisionmaking in Pediatric Advanced Care This cross-sectional study examines of a potential medical decisionmaking heuristic used by parents of ill children, namely “what should I do in order to be the best parent I can be for my ill child?” The study will contrast findings from parents of children with life-threatening illnesses to parents of children with less severe illness, as well as Spanish-speaking families, and with pediatricians, nurses, and ethicists. Role: PI

RO1 HS018425  Chris Feudtner, MD PhD MPH (PI)  07/01/10-06/30/15 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Comparative Effectiveness and Safety of Hospital-Based Pediatric Palliative Care This study measures the rates of use of palliative care-related pharmaceuticals (PCRPs) among hospitalized children with life-threatening complex chronic conditions; analyze variation among hospitals in the usage of PCRPs; and compares PCRP-treatment-associated outcomes and adverse events between matched sets of hospitalized children with life-threatening complex chronic conditions, measuring the differences in outcomes and adverse events among patients who did and who did not receive PCRPs in specific clinical scenarios. Role: PI