Michael J Deem, PhD

Visiting Associate Professor, Human Genetics

Director, Consortium Ethics Program, Center for Bioethics and Health Law

Co-Director, Master of Arts in Bioethics Program, Center for Bioethics and Health Law

Resident Fellow, Center for Philosophy of Science


Barco Law Building 514C
R-znvy: zqrrz@cvgg.rqh

Personal Statement

Michael Deem joined the faculty of University of Pittsburgh in Fall 2021. Previously he was an Assistant Professor at Duquesne University, with a joint appointment in the School of Nursing and the Center for Global Health Ethics. He completed a PhD in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, and the Pediatric Ethics and Genomics Fellowship at Children's Mercy Hospital.

Dr. Deem's primary research interests lie in bioethics (especially pediatric ethics and ethical issues in genetics/genomic medicine), philosophy of biology and medicine, and public health ethics. Having taught ethics to genetic counseling, nursing, and medical students in the past, he also pursues research on interprofessional ethics education.  


Dr. Deem teaches in the Center for Bioethics and Health Law's Master of Arts in Bioethics Program, directs the Center's Consortium Ethics Program, and teaches ethics in the Department of Human Genetics program in Genetic Counseling and in the MPH in Public Health Genetics.


2016 | Children's Mercy Hospital | Pediatric Ethics and Genomics Fellowship
2015 | University of Notre Dame | PhD, Philosophy
2009 | Texas A&M University | MA, Philosophy
2005 | Saint Louis University | MA, Historical Theology
2003 | Franciscan University of Steubenville | BA, Philosophy and Theology


BIOETH 2658 - Philosophy of Medicine
HUGEN 2052 - Ethical Issues in Clinical and Public Health Genetics

Selected Publications

Deem MJ. Conceptual Issues in Genomic Medicine. Cambridge University Press. (under contract)

Deem MJ, Farrow EG, Grubs RE (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Genetic Counseling. Oxford University Press (under contract)


Deem MJ, Lingler JH (eds.) Nursing Ethics: Normative Foundations, Advanced Concepts, and Emerging Issues. Oxford University Press (under contract)


Peer-Reviewed Articles
Ramsey G, Deem MJ (in press). Empathy and the evolutionary emergence of guilt. Philosophy of Science.


Deem MJ, Kronk RA, Staggs VS, Lucas D (2020). Nurses’ perspectives on the dismissal of vaccine-refusing families from pediatric and family care practices. American Journal of Health Promotion 34(6): 622-632.


Nold L, Deem MJ (2020). A simulation experience for preparing nurses to address refusal of childhood vaccines. Journal of Nursing Education 59(4): 222-226.


Navin MC, Kozak AT, Deem MJ (2020). Perspectives of public health nurses on the ethics of mandated vaccine education. Nursing Outlook. 68(1): 62-72.


Deem MJ, Stephen JM (2020). Do a surrogate decision-maker’s reasons matter? Nursing 50(2): 16-18.


Baumgartel KL, Deem MJ (2019). Promoting the use of pasteurized human donor milk in the NICU. Nursing 49(12): 11-13.


Deem MJ, Stokes F (2019). Culture and consent in clinical care: A critical review of nursing and nursing ethics literature. Annual Review of Nursing Research. 37(1): 223-259.


Deem, MJ (2018). Nurses’ voices matter for decisions about dismissing vaccine-refusing families. American Journal of Nursing 118(8): 11.

Deem MJ, Navin MC, Lantos, JD (2018). Considering whether the dismissal of vaccine-refusing families is fair to other clinicians. JAMA Pediatrics 172(6): 515-516.


Deem MJ (2018). A flaw in the Stich-Plantinga challenge to evolutionary reliabilism. Analysis 78(2): 216-225.


Deem MJ (2017). Responding to parents who refuse childhood immunizations. Nursing 47(12): 11-14.


Char DS, Lázaro-Muñoz G, Barnes A, Magnus D, Deem MJ, Lantos JD (2017). Genomic contraindications for heart transplantation.” Pediatrics 139(4): e20163471.


Dai H, Deem MJ, Hao J (2017). Geographic variations in electronic cigarette advertisements on Twitter in the United States. International Journal of Public Health 62(4): 479-487.


Deem MJ (2016). Dehorning the Darwinian dilemma for normative realism. Biology and Philosophy. 31(5): 727-746.


Deem MJ, Ramsey G (2016). Guilt by association? Philosophical Psychology. 29(4): 570-585.


Deem MJ (2016). Whole genome sequencing and disability in the NICU: Exploring practical and ethical challenges. Pediatrics. 137(S1): S47-S55.


Book Chapters
Deem MJ
(under contract). Why an ethics of care needs ethical principles. In Deem MJ, Lingler JH (eds.), Nursing Ethics: Normative Foundations, Advanced Concepts, and Emerging Issues. Oxford University Press. 


Deem MJ (under contract). Respect for autonomy: Privacy, confidentiality, and nondirectiveness in genetic counseling. In Deem MJ, Farrow EG, Grubs RE (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Genetic Counseling. Oxford University Press.


Deem MJ, Vogelstein E, Glasgow MES (2020). Integrating ethics across the curricula: Innovations in undergraduate and graduate nursing education. In E. Emerson & C. M. Alfes (eds.), Innovative Strategies in Teaching Nursing, 59-67. Springer Publishing.


Deem MJ (2017). Vulnerability in genetic counseling and the ground of nondirectiveness. In Straehle C (ed.), Vulnerability, Autonomy, and Applied Ethics (pp. 138-156). Routledge.


Deem MJ, Ramsey G (2016), The evolutionary puzzle of guilt: Individual or group selection? In Scarantino A (ed.), The Emotion Researcher, ISRE’s Sourcebook for Research on Emotion and Affect.

Michael J Deem