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Erica K. Salter, Ph.D., HEC-C

Director of Ph.D. program; associate professor of health care ethics; associate professor of pediatrics
Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics

Associate professor
Department of Pediatrics


  • Ph.D. in health care ethics from Saint Louis University
  • B.A. in philosophy and cognitive science from Rice University
  • Certified Healthcare Ethics Consultant  

Research Interests

Pediatric ethics; ethics education; clinical ethics consultation.

Publications and Media Placements

Journal Articles

  • Salter, E.K., Ross, L.F. (2020). “Why Most Bad Decisions About Vaccines Do Not Constitute Child Neglect”, Journal of Pediatric Neurology, 113:85-87.
  • Salter, E.K. (2020).“The New Futility? The Rhetoric and Role of Suffering in Pediatric Decision-Making”, Nursing Ethics, 27(1): 16-27.
  • Salter, E.K., Friedrich, A.., Dempsey, K. (2019).  “The Use of Suffering in Pediatric Bioethics and Clinical Literature: A Qualitative Content Analysis”, (forthcoming in Journal of Pediatric Ethics).
  • deSante-Bertkau, J., Shubkin, C., Salter, E.K., Nelson, W. and Lantos, J. (2019). “Ethics Rounds: When Specialty Care is Unavailable to Rural Families”, Pediatrics, 144(6).
  • Brummett, A. and Salter, E.K. (2019). “Taxonomizing views of clinical ethics expertise”, Target Article in American Journal of Bioethics, 19(11).
  • Salter, E.K. (2019). “When Better Isn’t Good Enough: Commentary on ‘Better than Best (Interest Standard)”, Journal of Clinical Ethics, 30(3).
  • Salter, E.K. (2019).  “The New Futility? The Rhetoric and Role of Suffering in Pediatric Decision-Making”, Nursing Ethics, online at:
  • Salter, E.K. (2017). “Reimagining Childhood: Responding to the Challenge Presented by Severe Developmental Disability”, HEC Forum, 29 (3). 
  • Salter, E.K. (2017). “Conflating Capacity and Authority: Why We’re Asking the Wrong Question in the Mature Minor Debate”, Hastings Center Report 47(1).
  • Salter, E.K. & Norris, J. (2015). “Clinical Ethics Beyond the Urban Hospital”, HEC Forum, 27(2): 87-91.
  • Salter, E. K. (2015). "To Re-contextualize the Patient: What Home Health Care Ethics Can Teach Us about Medical Decision Making." HEC Forum, 27(2): 143-156.
  • Salter, E. K. (2014). "The Siren Call of Individualism in Pediatric Decision Making and the Role of Relational Interests." Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 39(1), 26-40.
  • Salter, E.K. (2014). "The Desire to Die: Making Treatment Decisions for Suicidal Patients with Advance Directives." Journal of Clinical Ethics, 25(1): 43-49.
  • Salter, E.K. (2013). "Should We Tell Annie? Preparing for death at the Intersection of Parental Authority and Adolescent Autonomy." Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, 3(1): 83-90.
  • Salter, E. K. (2012). "Deciding for a Child: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Best Interest Standard." Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 33, 179-198.
  • Salter, E. K. (2010). "The Management of Incidental Findings in Neuro-Imaging Research." Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 38(1).
  • Salter, E. K. (2009). "Clinical Ethics and the Dynamics of Group Decision-Making: Applying the Psychological Data to Decisions Made by Ethics Committees." HEC Forum, 21(2), 207-228.

Media Contributions

  • Salter, E.K. 2020. Interviewed by Medical Ethics Advisor about ethics committee membership.
  • Salter, E.K. 2020. Interviewed by “Pediatric Bioethics Podcast with John Lantos” on the best interest standard.
  • Salter, E.K. 2020. Interviewed by “Brave New Us Podcast” about pediatric disability.
  • Salter, E.K. 2020. Interviewed by Healthcare Dive about hospital response to COVID-19

Community Work and Service

  • Vice chair of the Ethics Committee, SSM Cardinal Glennon Medical Center
  • Member of the Ethics Committee, SSM Saint Louis University Hospital 
  • Saint Anthony’s Hospital IRB
  • Mission: STL
  • The Journey Church