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The Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care is housed in the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. The ScattergoodEthics Program aims to elevate the national conversation about the ethics of research, treatment, and delivery of behavioral health care.

Recovering Inside Conference

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Recovering Inside? Ethical Issues in Correctional Mental Health Care

October 20, 2016
The National Constitution Center
Philadelphia, PA

Watch the Video

KeY Resource

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Revisiting the Goldwater Rule:  Psychiatry, Ethics, & Politics

Read the original Fact Magazine issue that sparked today's controversy about psychiatrists speculating about presidential candidates' mental health.


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Commentary: Is President Trump Causing Toxic Stress?

“The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the public.” And with that Jon Stewart, former host of the Daily Show and comic genius, touched on an overlooked but very serious public health question.  

More From ScattergoodEthics

Recovering Inside? Ethics in Correctional Mental Health Care

A shadow health care system now exists behind bars in the US, with a substantial amount of behavioral health care delivered there.

There are approximately 2.6 million people incarcerated in the US, which equates, by far, to the world’s highest incarceration rate (~700/100,000 people). It is estimated that 50% of inmates of jails and prisons have a mental illness, and 15-20% have a serious mental illness. 

By convening an interdisciplinary research group that includes bioethicists, clinicians, prison reform advocates, and (at least) one former inmate, we will develop a novel line of bioethics research to examine ethics and policy questions in correctional mental health care.

This project is funded by the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania

Learn More

In the News

The Public's Health | Waking up about sleep: A public health need, overlooked | September 7, 2016 | Read the Aricle

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Why should behavioral health care be any different? | June 29, 2016 | Read Article

WHYY's The Pulse | We're at a point of historic reckoning on standards for behavioral health care | June 17, 2016 | Listen

New York Times | Psychiatric Institutions Are a Necessity | May 9, 2016 | Read Essay

WHYY Newsworks | Group of ethicists to examine mental health care behind bars | March 7, 2016 | Read Article

Health Magazine | All About the Psychedelic Club Drug Being Used to Treat Depression | November 4, 2015 | Read Article

Social Work Today | "Article Stirs Debate on Long-Term Psychiatric Care" | July-August | Read Article

The Philadelphia Inquirer | "Bill a good start in reforming mental-health care" | July 2, 2015 | Read Article

The Prodromal Schizophrenia Empirical and Ethical Nexus (PSEEN) Initiative

The PSEEN Initiative aims to indentify and examine ethical and policy issues generated by rapidly advancing technoligies that will allow early detection and possibly prevention of psychosis spectrum disorders.  

In partnership with the Neuropsychiatry Section in Penn's Department of Psychiatry, we will approach these issues along two research tracks: empirical bioethics and normative analysis.

Key problems to be addressed by this initiative will be to clarify the concept of prodromal psychosis and examine derivative ethical challenges, such as appropriate disclosure of risk information, mitigating stigma, and respecting the autonomy of adolescents as transitional decision makers.

The PSEEN Initiative is supported a grant from the Greenwall Foundation.

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Ethics Track at the 2016 American Psychiatric Association's Annual Meeting

For the past five years, the ScattergoodEthics Program has organized and sponsored a multi-session ethics track at the annual APA meeting.  

The 2016 ethics track includes ten sessions, led by nationally and globally renowned scholars, including:

"Recovering Inside: Is Correctional Psychiatry an Oxymoron?"

"Prodromal Psychosis: Ethical Challenges in Classification, Diagnosis & Treatment"

"The History, Ethics and Promise of Psychedelic Therapies"

"Beyond Googling: Psychiatric Monitoring of Patients’ Electronic Communication"

View the Full Program

Recent Events

APRIL 21, 2016 | Grand Rounds in Psychiatry: Giving Aslyum? Ethical Issues in Long-Term Psychiatric Care | The University of Pennsylvania

JANUARY 21, 2016  | Giving Asylum? The Ethics of Long-Term Care for People with Severe Mental Illness | The Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital | Hartford, CT

JULY 22, 2015 | A Debate on Treating Mental Illness: Should We Bring Back Asylums? | The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco |  Listen

JUNE 11-13, 2015 | 7th Journal of Ethics in Mental Health Conference | Cobourg, Ontario

JUNE 7-9, 2015 | Detroit-Wayne Mental Health Association 1st Annual Interdisciplinary Mental Health Conference | Detroit, MI

About Us

The Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care (ScattergoodEthics) is housed within the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.  

ScattergoodEthics is dedicated to education, research, and resource development for the field of psychiatric, mental, and behavioral healthcare ethics. The program engages in scholarly research, trains and educates clinicians and scholars in mental and behavioral healthcare ethics, sponsors programs and public events, and promotes and advocates for greater attention to the ethical dimensions of diagnosis and treatment.  ScattergoodEthics is funded in large part by the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation. 

Visit the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy

A Debate on Treating Mental Illness: Should We Bring Back Asylums?

Dominic Sisti, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Renee Binder, M.D., University of California, San Francisco; Incoming President, American Psychiatric Association

Dr. Gloria Duffy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club — Moderator

July 22, 2015


More Info