• lance wahlert

Lance Wahlert, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy; Master of Bioethics (MBE) Program Director; Director, Project on Bioethics, Sexuality, and Gender Identity; Core Faculty, Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies
  • Email: lwahlert@mail.med.upenn.edu


Lance Wahlert, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy and Program Director of the Master of Bioethics (MBE) in the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Wahlert is also Core Research and Teaching Faculty Member in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Penn. He serves as the Director of the Project on Bioethics, Sexuality, and Gender Identity, which has demarcated a sub-field within bioethics that focuses on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and medical ethics.

Twice the recipient of the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, Dr. Wahlert teaches classes on: Bioethics and Sexuality, Medicine and Literature, the History of Medicine, AIDS and Bioethics, Clinical Ethics Mediation, Medicine in Film, and Digital Media Bioethics. He has held residential fellowships at the University of Oslo, Trinity College Dublin, Queen's University Belfast, King's College London, and the British Film Institute.

Dr. Wahlert’s scholarly interests include clinical ethics, the historiographical legacy of the healthcare concerns of LGBTQ persons, the impact of cinematic genres on cultural histories, and the relationship between literary narratives and clinical forms of storytelling. Having been funded by the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and the Pew Foundation, his work has been featured in publications including Bioethics, The American Journal of Bioethics, The Journal of Medical Humanities, and The Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics.

Dr. Wahlert is Faculty Fellow at Gregory College House in Penn’s residential college system; and serves on the faculty advisory board of Penn's LGBT Center. He is also the Perelman School of Medicine's faculty advisor for the Minor in Bioethics in the undergraduate College.

Selected Publications

Wahlert L, Fiester A:

2013. "A False Sense of Security in LGBT Surrogate Decision-Making," Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, in press.

Wahlert L:

2013. "The Burden of Poofs: Criminal Pathology, Clinical Scrutiny, and Homosexual Etiology in Queer Cinema," Journal of Medical Humanities 34:2.

Wahlert L, Fiester A:

2013. "The Queer in the Clinic," Journal of Medical Humanities 34:2.

Wahlert L:

2012. "Surrogate Decision Making 2.0: Digital Evidence as Clinical Testimony," American Journal of Bioethics 12:10.

Wahlert L:

2012. "The Painful Reunion: The Remedicalization of Homosexuality and the Rise of the Queer," The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9:3.

Wahlert L, Fiester A:

2012. "LGBT Clinical Ethics and Mediation," The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9:3.

Wahlert L, Fiester A:

2012. "Questioning Scrutiny: Bioethics, Sexuality, and Gender Identity," The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9:3.

Wahlert L:

2012. "Gender Transports: Privileging the 'Natural' in Gender Testing Debates for Intersex and Transgender Athletes," American Journal of Bioethics 12:7.

Wahlert L, Fiester A, Murphy T:

2012. "IVF Treatment for an HIV-Discordant, Transgender Couple: The Questions We Should Not Ask," Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 21:2.

Wahlert L, Fiester A:

2012. "Queer Bioethics: Why Its Time Has Come," Bioethics 26:1.

Wahlert L, Fiester A:

2011. "Failing Those at Ground Zero...Again: American Public Health Responses to AIDS and 9/11," American Journal of Bioethics 11:9.

Wahlert L, Fiester A:

2011. "The Re-Queering of HIV Testing Practices and the Reinforcement of Stigma in Recent CDC Policies," American Journal of Bioethics 11:4.


University of Pennsylvania, PhD, English

Imperial College, University of London, MSc, History of Science, Medicine, & Technology

Johns Hopkins University, MA, Humanities

Johns Hopkins University, BA, English and History of Medicine


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