July 2022

FSP Alum Douglas White, Researcher and Developer of Pandemic-Era Bioethics Recommendations, Joins Faculty Scholars Program Committee

The Foundation is thrilled to welcome Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program Alum Douglas White, MD, to the Faculty Scholars Program Committee. The Program Committee provides oversight and direction for the Program and is involved not only with selection of the Scholars but also with mentoring and professional development activities.

Douglas White, MD

Dr. White joined the Faculty Scholars Program in 2008, as a member of the Class of 2011. His Scholar project sought to improve decision-making for incapacitated patients who lack a surrogate decision-maker.

Dr. White directs the University of Pittsburgh Program on Ethics and Decision Making in Critical Illness. His scholarship focuses on ethical issues that arise in the care of critically ill patients and on developing interventions to improve surrogate decision-making for incapacitated, seriously ill patients. He has published more than 170 peer-reviewed research articles and has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2005.

Dr. White has received numerous awards for his scholarship, including the Grenvik Award for Ethics from the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the Distinguished Research Mentor Award from the University of Pittsburgh. He is an elected fellow of the Hastings Center and the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He is a designated diversity champion at the Pitt School of Medicine.

In addition to his scholarship, Dr. White serves as a clinician caring for critically ill patients and their families, and brings a unique perspective informed by on-the-ground experience.

Recently, Dr. White has been on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic, caring for critically ill patients and delivering practical bioethics guidance to health care providers and policymakers. His work on resource allocation, for example, has helped shape policies to equitably distribute Covid-19 treatments and critical care resources when they are scarce. Dr. White led a team that developed and implemented a weighted lottery to allocate scarce medications. This was the first use in clinical medicine of a weighted lottery to allow multiple ethical values to be incorporated into scarce resource allocation.

As an active Faculty Scholars Program Alum, Dr. White has collaborated with other FSP community members on work addressing crisis standards of care, resource allocation, and more. He views the Program’s diversity of expertise a “tremendous strength,” recognizing the novelty of having community members who “range from moral philosophers and legal scholars to medical anthropologists and clinicians.”