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Carl Griffin Trotter, M.D., Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor
Center for Health Care Ethics
Emergency Medicine


  • BA. Philosophy-Religion. Whitman College. Walla Walla, Washington. May 1980.
  • M.D. St. Louis University. Saint Louis, Missouri. May 1985.
  • M.A. Philosophy. Vanderbilt University. Nashville, Tennessee. December 1993.
  • Ph.D. Philosophy. Vanderbilt University. Nashville, Tennessee. May 1995.

Publications and Media Placements

  • "Royce, Community and Ethnicity." Transactions of the Charles Sanders Peirce Society 30 (Spring, 1994): 231-69.
  • "Against Customer Service." The Journal of Emergency Medicine 15 (March/April 1998): 227-34.
  • "Mediating Disputes about Medical Futility." Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics 8 (Fall 1999): 527-37.
  • "Culture, Ritual and Errors of Repudiation: Some Implications for the Assessment of Alternative Medical Traditions." Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 6 (July 2000): 62-68.
  • "Assisted Suicide and the Duty to Die." Journal of Clinical Ethics 11 (Fall 2000): 260-271.
  • With Gerard Magill. "The Role of Solidarity and Subsidiarity for Unions in Health Care." HEC Forum 13 (June 2001): 178-195. This article was invited and I am uncertain about whether it was peer reviewed.
  • "Pragmatism, Bioethics and the Grand American Social Experiment." American Journal of Bioethics 1 (Fall 2001): In Focus.
  • "Bioethics and Healthcare Reform: A Whig Critique of Weak Consensus." Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 11 (Winter 2002): 37-51.
  • "Why were the Benefits of tPA Exaggerated? The Role of Interpretation Bias." Western Journal of Medicine 176 (May 2002): 194-197.
  • "Virtue, Foible and Practice: Medicine's Arduous Moral Triad." Bioethics Forum 18 (Fall 2002): 30-36.
  • "Is it Ethical for Physicians to Serve Ringside?" Journal of Clinical Ethics 13 (Winter 2002): 367-374.
  • "Holding Civic Medicine Accountable: Will Morreim's Liability Schemes Work in a Disaster?" Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (June 2003): 339-357.
  • "Balancing Pluralism and the Common Good: A Look at Open-Air Experiments of Biowarfare Agents." Accountability in Research 10 (2003): 109-121.
  • "Buffalo Eyes: A Take on the Global HIV Epidemic." Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 12 (Fall 2003): 434-443.
  • "Pragmatic Bioethics and the Big Fat Moral Community." Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (October 2003): 655-671.
  • "Loyalty in the Trenches: Practical Teleology for Office Clinicians Responding to Terrorism." Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (August 2004): 389-416.
  • "Chemical Terrorism and the Ethics of Decontamination." Journal of Clinical Ethics 15 (Summer, 2004): 149-160.
  • "Why Bioethics is Ill Equipped to Contribute to the Debate About Prolonging Lifespans." HEC Forum 16 (September, 2004): 197-213.
  • "Of Lotteries Lost and Partnerships Forged: The Perils and Promises of Patient Ethics." Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics Volume 14(Spring, 2005): 131-140.
  • "Bioethics, Christian Charity and the View from No Place." Christian Bioethics 11 (December 2005): 317-331.
  • "Bioethics and Deliberative Democracy: Five Warnings from Hobbes." Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (June, 2006): 235-250.
  • "Enough About Rawls Already: Systems Theory and Bioethics in the 21st Century." The American Journal of Bioethics: AJOB 7 (April 2007). Routledge: 83–85.
  • "Royce's State of Nature." The Pluralist 2 (Summer 2007): 31-43.
  • With Jonathan Moreno, Angelique Reitsma and 14 other authors: "Ethical Guidelines for Innovative Surgery: Recommendations for National Policy." Journal of the American College of Surgeons (January 2005).
  • "Preferred Allocation for Registered Organ Donors." Transplantation Reviews 22 (July 2008): 158-162.
  • "The Illusion of Legitimacy: Two Assumptions That Corrupt Health Policy Deliberation." The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (October 2008). Oxford University Press: 445–60.
  • "The UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights: A Canon for the Ages?" The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 34 (June 2009). Oxford University Press: 195–203.
  • "Sufficiency of Care in Disasters: Ventilation, Ventilator Triage, and the Misconception of Guideline-Driven Treatment." The Journal of Clinical Ethics 21 (Winter 2010): 294.
  • "Medicine without Pretense." The Lancet 377 (February 2011): 632–33.
  • With Robert D. MacDougall. "Rights and Basic Health Care." The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (December 2011). Oxford University Press: 529–36.
  • "The Moral Basis for Healthcare Reform in the United States." Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics: CQ: The International Journal of Healthcare Ethics Committees 20 (January 2011): 102-107.
  • "No Theory of Justice Can Ground Health Care Reform." The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics: A Journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics 40 (Fall 2012): 598–605.
  • "Autonomy as Self-Sovereignty." HEC Forum: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Hospitals' Ethical and Legal Issues 26 (September 2014): 237.
  • "Is Healthcare Hazardous to Life? An American Transcendentalist Perspective." Overheard in Seville: Bulletin of the Santayana Society 33 (Fall 2015): 32-44.

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • American Association of Physician Specialists
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • American Philosophical Association
  • American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
  • Association for Practical and Professional Ethics
  • Charles S. Peirce Society
  • Josiah Royce Society
  • Santayana Society
  • Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy
  • World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine

Community Work and Service

  • Phi Beta Kappa (April 8, 1980)
  • Honors in Philosophy-Religion at Whitman College (1980)
  • Magna cum Laude at Whitman College (1980)
  • Air Force Commendation Medal (September 5, 1989)
  • 1993 and 1994 Tennessee Kama Bushi Kai Karate Sparring Champion
  • Commander's Certificate of Achievement, Fort Campbell, KY (May 1, 1996)
  • Project SLU 2000 Faculty Research Award (Fall 2004)