William Nelson is a health care ethicist with a scholarly and teaching focus on organizational ethics, especially regarding the relation between ethics, quality, and value in the delivery of health care.
He teaches ethics courses in various Dartmouth Institute education programs, including, PH 130 in the on-campus Master’s in Public Health program and PH 222 in the online MPH program. Nelson also teaches an intensive ethics course in the Masters of Health Care Delivery Science (MHCDS) and The Dartmouth Institute Certificate programs. In addition to teaching at the Institute, Nelson is on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Medical Education at the Geisel School of Medicine. At the medical school, he serves as the director of the Health and Values Program that integrates ethics and medical humanities into the four-year curriculum. Previously, he served as the ethics education coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center of Health Care Ethics, which he co-founded.
He has published extensively and is a frequent speaker on organizational ethics topics in the United States and internationally. Nelson is a recipient of many awards and honors, including the U.S. Congressional Excalibur Award for Public Service. In 2004, The Department of Veterans Affairs established the annual, competitive “William A. Nelson Award for Excellence in Health Care Ethics” for “significant and sustained contributions to the Department through health care ethics…” In 2006 Dr. Nelson was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from his alma mater, Elmhurst College.
He received his MDiv from Andover-Newton Theological School and his PhD from Union Graduate School and University.
Nelson WA, Forcino RC, Elwyn G
Health Care Manag (Frederick)|2017 Oct/Dec
Westling CR, Walsh T, Nelson WA
J Healthc Manag|2017 Jan/Feb
Nelson WA, Barr PJ, Castaldo MG
HEC Forum|2015 Jun
Lahey T, Nelson WA
Clin Infect Dis|2015 Jun 15
Nelson WA, Taylor E, Walsh T
Health Care Manag (Frederick)|2014 Apr-Jun
Ethics in Health and Healthcare
This course is designed to give students an overview of healthcare ethics, including recognizing and responding to contemporary clinical, research, and organizational ethical conflicts in health care. Students will build practical ethical reasoning skills and strategies for dealing with frequently encountered ethics issues, as well as approaches for anticipating and decreasing the presence of ethics conflicts. Emphasis throughout the course will be on critical thinking, real-world application, and ethical decision-making in a professional environment.
Practical Approaches for Today’s Health Care Ethics Challenges (SHORT COURSE)
This highly interactive, short course is designed to give students an overview of health care ethics, including recognizing and responding to contemporary clinical, research, and organizational ethical conflicts in health care. The students will become familiar with the application of ethics principles to today’s health care ethics challenges faced by health care professionals. Through the discussion of case studies, students will build practical ethical reasoning skills and strategies for dealing with frequently encountered ethics issues, as well as approaches for anticipating and decreasing the presence of ethics conflicts. Students will also gain an understanding of the structure and function of a Hospital Ethics Committees and an Institutional Review Board/Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects. Emphasis throughout the short course will be on critical thinking, real-world application and ethical decision-making in a professional environment.