Carol L. Powers

Carol L. Powers, JD

Carol L. Powers, JD, is Co-Founder and Chair of the Community Ethics Committee, operating under the auspices of the Harvard Ethics Leadership Group. The Community Ethics Committee (the CEC) was the outcome of Carol’s Fellowship at the Division of Medical Ethics during the 2006-2007 academic year. The CEC is a group of dedicated volunteers ranging in age from their teens to seventies, diverse as to religious, cultural, educational, and socio-economic backgrounds. The Committee, through one of its members, Paul C. McLean, has developed a social media presence ( and its many publications are available there. As primary author of the CEC’s work, Carol and the CEC have submitted Reports on such topics as withholding non-therapeutic CPR, use of social media by medical caregivers, pediatric organ donation on cardiac death, the use of psycho-social criteria in listing children for organ transplant, medical futility, and palliative sedation. The CEC worked with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in its initial review of crisis standards of care and it submitted commentary to the Presidential Commission on Bioethical Issues related to the protections of participants in clinical trials. The Committee also prepared and presented a White Paper on a Ballot Initiative for Death with Dignity legislation, also known as Physician-Assisted Suicide. She has co-written articles that have been published both the American Journal of Bioethics and Surgery. She and the CEC have participated at recent annual meetings of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Carol serves as Chair of the Ethics Advisory Committees for both the Regional Office of the Department of Developmental Services and Commonwealth Care Alliance. Both Committees review clinical cases arising from the care of the most vulnerable among us. She served for over twenty years as a community member of the Boston Children’s Hospital Ethics Advisory Committee. In her spare time, she works as a “country lawyer,” maintaining a legal practice focusing on estate planning and representation of the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority.