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Maureen C. Kelley, PhD

Associate Affiliate Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


Maureen Kelley is a bioethicist, working in maternal, neonatal and child health. She is an assistant professor in the pediatrics department in the bioethics division at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She holds joint appointments to the faculty at the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics and the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Dr. Kelley also serves on the affiliated faculty at the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights and is a member of the new UW Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents and Children. She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy with a specialization in bioethics at Rice University, and completed her clinical bioethics training at Baylor College of Medicine’s program in Medical Ethics and Health Policy. She has held faculty appointments at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Alabama Sparkman Center for Global Health.

As an Affiliate Assistant Member of the Research Institute, Dr. Kelley serves as consulting faculty to the Chao Program for International Research Ethics, a program led by Dr. Susan Miller at Methodist.

Description of Research

Dr. Kelley’s research has two goals: (1) Identifying ethical dilemmas that impact barriers to care for vulnerable pediatric populations (orphans, homeless youth, and wards of the state), and (2) identifying ethical dilemmas that impact access to antenatal-postpartum care for women in developing countries, with special attention to poor pregnancy outcomes, such as prematurity and stillbirth. In addition to her primary areas of research, Dr. Kelley continues to advise various interdisciplinary teams on research ethics and vulnerable populations.

Areas Of Expertise

Bioethics Research ethics Vulnerable populations
Education & Training

PhD , Rice University
MA , University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Research on medical practices (ROMP): Attitudes of IRB personnel about randomization and informed consent
Porter, KM, Cho, MK, Kraft, SA, Korngiebel, DM, Constantine, M, Lee, SSJ, Kelley, M, James, C, Kuwana, E, Meyer, A, Diekema, D, Capron, AM, Magnus, D & Wilfond, BS 2017, IRB Ethics and Human Research, vol 39, no. 1, pp. 10-16.

A comparison of institutional review board professionals' and patients' views on consent for research on medical practices
Kraft, SA, Cho, MK, Constantine, M, Lee, SSJ, Kelley, M, Korngiebel, D, James, C, Kuwana, E, Meyer, A, Porter, K, Diekema, D, Capron, AM, Alicic, R, Wilfond, BS & Magnus, D 2016, Clinical Trials, vol 13, no. 5, pp. 555-565. DOI:

Ethical challenges in research with orphans and vulnerable children: A qualitative study of researcher experiences
Kelley, MC, Brazg, T, Wilfond, BS, Lengua, LJ, Rivin, BE, Martin-Herz, SP & Diekema, DS 2016, International Health, vol 8, no. 3, pp. 187-196. DOI:

Adrift in the gray zone: IRB perspectives on research in the learning health system
Lee, SSJ, Kelley, M, Cho, MK, Kraft, SA, James, C, Constantine, M, Meyer, AN, Diekema, D, Capron, AM, Wilfond, BS & Magnus, D 2016, AJOB Empirical Bioethics, pp. 1-10. DOI:

The Role of Patient Perspectives in Clinical Research Ethics and Policy: Response to Open Peer Commentaries on “Patient Perspectives on the Learning Health System”
Kelley, M, James, C, Alessi Kraft, S, Korngiebel, D, Wijangco, I, Joffe, S, Cho, MK, Wilfond, B & Lee, SSJ 2016, American Journal of Bioethics, vol 16, no. 2, pp. 7-9. DOI:

Stillbirth should be given greater priority on the global health agenda
Qureshi, ZU, Millum, J, Blencowe, H, Kelley, M, Fottrell, E, Lawn, JE, Costello, A & Colbourn, T 2015, BMJ, vol 351, h4620. DOI:

Patient Perspectives on the Learning Health System: The Importance of Trust and Shared Decision Making
Kelley, M, James, C, Alessi Kraft, S, Korngiebel, D, Wijangco, I, Rosenthal, E, Joffe, S, Cho, MK, Wilfond, B & Lee, SSJ 2015, American Journal of Bioethics, vol 15, no. 9, pp. 4-17. DOI:

Attitudes Toward Risk and Informed Consent for Research on Medical Practices: A Cross-sectional Survey
Cho, MK, Magnus, D, Constantine, M, Lee, SSOJ, Kelley, M, Alessi, S, Korngiebel, D, James, C, Kuwana, E, Gallagher, TH, Diekema, D, Capron, AM, Joffe, S & Wilfond, BS 2015, Annals of internal medicine, vol 162, no. 10, pp. 690-696. DOI:

Using health provider insights to inform pediatric HIV disclosure: A qualitative study and practice framework from kenya
Beima-Sofie, K, John-Stewart, G, Shah, B, Wamalwa, D, Maleche-Obimbo, E & Kelley, M 2014, AIDS Patient Care and STDs, vol 28, no. 10, pp. 555-564. DOI:

Care taker blogs in caregiver fabricated illness in a child: A window on the caretaker's thinking?
Brown, AN, Gonzalez, GR, Wiester, RT, Kelley, MC & Feldman, KW 2014, Child Abuse and Neglect, vol 38, no. 3, pp. 488-497. DOI:

Triage in the tower of babel: Interpreter services for children in the prehospital setting
Tate, RC & Kelley, MC 2013, Pediatric Emergency Care, vol 29, no. 12, pp. 1280-1282. DOI:

Biodefence and the production of knowledge: Rethinking the problem
Buchanan, A & Kelley, MC 2013, Journal of Medical Ethics, vol 39, no. 4, pp. 195-204. DOI:

Values in Translation: How Asking the Right Questions Can Move Translational Science Toward Greater Health Impact
Kelley, M, Edwards, K, Starks, H, Fullerton, SM, James, R, Goering, S, Holland, S, Disis, ML & Burke, W 2012, Clinical and Translational Science, vol 5, no. 6, pp. 445-451. DOI:

Silent loss and the clinical encounter: Parents' and physicians' experiences of stillbirth-a qualitative analysis
Kelley, MC & Trinidad, SB 2012, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, vol 12, 137. DOI:

An 8-year-old foster child with behavioral problems who needs a bone marrow transplant
Kelley, M, Unguru, Y, Myers, GD & Lantos, JD 2012, Pediatrics, vol 130, no. 5, pp. 936-940. DOI:

The invisible children
Kelley, M 2012, Narrative inquiry in bioethics, vol 2, no. 2, pp. E4-E6. DOI:

An integrated systems biology approach to the study of preterm birth using "-omic" technology - a guideline for research
Gracie, S, Pennell, C, Ekman-Ordeberg, G, Lye, S, McManaman, J, Williams, S, Palmer, L, Kelley, M, Menon, R & Gravett, M 2011, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, vol 11, 71. DOI:

Counting stillbirths: Women's health and reproductive rights
Kelley, M 2011, The Lancet, vol 377, no. 9778, pp. 1636-1637. DOI:

Refusals of treatment in adolescents and young adults
Kelley, M 2011, . in Clinical Ethics in Pediatrics: A Case-Based Textbook. Cambridge University Press, pp. 23-26. DOI:

Kelley, M 2010, Hastings Center Report, vol 40, no. 6.