Charlene A. Galarneau, MAR, PhD, is Senior Lecturer in the Master of Bioethics Program at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor Emerita of Wellesley College’s Women’s and Gender Studies Department. Her research explores the ethics of health care, public health, and health policy that take seriously intersecting social relations including gender, “race,” and class. Her 2016 book, Communities of Health Care, presents a concept of community justice that understands multiple and diverse communities as critical moral participants in determining the nature of justice in U.S. health care. Other areas of research include USPHS STD experiments in Guatemala, ACA exclusions (undocumented immigrants) and exemptions (health care sharing ministries), reproductive justice for migrant farmworker women, and FDA blood donor deferral policy. Her articles appear in The American Journal of Bioethics, The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Health and Human Rights, The Hastings Center Report, Public Health Ethics, and The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.
In 2018-2019, Charlene co-taught the MBE Foundations course with Dr. Rebecca Brendel. In prior years she has taught Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Bioethics, as well as Feminist Bioethics. She has served as a faculty advisor to the Community Ethics Committee, and as faculty advisor, capstone mentor, and consortia commentator.
Charlene was an HMS Fellow in Medical Ethics (1999-2000); a member of the Ethics Committee of the Tufts-New England Medical Center (1999-2005); and a consultant to the development of a municipal ethics committee in Portland, Maine. Prior to Wellesley College she was faculty at Tufts University, Community Health Program (1996-2005) and held a secondary appointment at Tufts Medical School where she lectured in medical ethics, co-directed an ethics course for second year students, co-led curricular redesign in ethics and professionalism, and co-coordinated a monthly bioethics series with faculty university-wide.
The Harvard Medical School Master of Bioethics Class of 2018 selected Charlene to give its faculty commencement address. She was honored with Wellesley College’s Anna and Samuel Pinanski Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2009) and received the Outstanding Contribution to the Academy Alumni/ae Award from the Iliff School of Theology (2007).
She holds a doctorate from Harvard University with a focus in religious social ethics and health policy and a master’s degree from the Iliff School of Theology. Her academic interests are inspired by her early health care work with rural community/migrant health centers and the communities they serve.
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