The Hastings Center addresses social and ethical issues in health care, science, and technology. We study each of them through a common lens, a lens that asks us to identify which values are at stake, how to maximize their achievement, and how best to balance them, when they conflict. We always examine the issue in terms of a small set of essential values, or ethical considerations, like fairness, compassion, integrity, and stewardship. We also try to articulate the (sometimes hidden) values and assumptions that underlie conventional analyses of who bears the costs, who gets the benefits, and who is exposed to the risks.
Through our publications and public engagement we insert human values and the value of bioethics into public conversations, while providing platforms for a range of voices to express themselves and be heard. We bring our work to multiple audiences, including leaders in public policy, biotechnology, and medicine, as well as journalists, educators, and students. Our analyses also influence professional practice: from end-of-life care to psychiatric practice to immigrant health care, we have helped to shape the standards of practice adopted by physicians, nurses, and lawyers.
Our research is carried out by interdisciplinary teams that engage in a rigorous process of analysis, deliberation, framing, and reframing of the key issues at stake. This work produces authoritative books, special reports, and other documents that inform professional practice and public policy.
Founded in 1969 by philosopher Daniel Callahan and psychoanalyst Willard Gaylin, The Hastings Center is the oldest independent, nonpartisan, interdisciplinary research institute of its kind in the world.