Laurence B McCullough, PhD

Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Medical Ethics, Baylor College of Medicine and

Professor of Bioethics,
Lecturer, Proseminar Health and
Human Values,
The Bioethics Program




Laurence B. McCullough, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor of Ethics in Obstetrics and Gynecology and of Medical Ethics in Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City. He is also a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the Hastings Center.

At Weill Cornell, Dr. McCullough engages in collaborative scholarship and teaches with Frank A. Chervenak, M.D., Given Foundation Professor and Chairmen of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. They have been academic partners for more than 33 years, producing two books, more than 200 papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and more than 100 chapters in textbooks of obstetrics and gynecology, perinatal medicine, and maternal-fetal medicine and surgery.

In July 2016, after 28 years on the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, Dr. McCullough became Distinguished Emeritus Professor in Baylor’s Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, where he was the inaugural holder of the Dalton Tomlin Chair in Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Professor of Medicine and Medical Ethics, and a Faculty Associate of both the Huffington Center on Aging and the Center for Reproductive Medicine. He held medical staff appointments at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Texas Children’s Hospital. He was also Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Rice University.

Dr. McCullough received three major awards for his contributions to the education of Baylor’s medical students, residents, and fellows. In 2012 Dr. McCullough’s received the peer-reviewed Fulbright & Jaworski Faculty Excellence Award and membership in Baylor’s Academy of Distinguished Educators. In 2013 Dr. McCullough was one of the two recipients of Baylor’s highest teaching award, the Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr., Presidential Award for Excellence in Education. In 2014 he received the Baylor Pediatric Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Non-Pediatric Faculty Member from Baylor’s Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. McCullough has published more than 500 articles in the peer-reviewed literature and 13 books. Medical Ethics: The Moral Responsibilities of Physicians, co-authored with Tom L. Beauchamp (Prentice-Hall, 1984), has been translated into Spanish (Barcelona, 1987) and Japanese (Tokyo, 1992). With Dr. Chervenak he is co-author of Ethics in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Oxford University Press, 1994) and The Professional Responsibility Model of Perinatal Ethics (Walter de Gruyter 2014). He is co-editor with Nancy L. Wilson of Baylor's Huffington Center on Aging of Long-Term Care Decisions: Ethical and Conceptual Dimensions (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995). His Leibniz on Individuals and Individuation appeared in 1996 (Kluwer Academic Publishers). In 1998 his John Gregory and the Invention of Professional Medical Ethics and the Profession of Medicine and (as editor) John Gregory's Writings on Medical Ethics and the Philosophy of Medicine appeared (Kluwer), as well as Surgical Ethics (Oxford), co-edited with Baruch A. Brody and James W. Jones. He is also co-editor with Baruch A. Brody, Mark Rothstein, and Mary Anne Bobinski of Medical Ethics: Codes, Opinions, and Statements (Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) 2000) and co-author with them of a companion volume commenting on these documents (BNA 2001). With James W. Jones and Bruce W. Richman he is co-author of The Ethics of Surgical Practice: Cases, Dilemmas, and Resolutions (Oxford University Press 2008). With Robert B. Baker of Union College (Schenectady, New York) Dr. McCullough is co-editor The Cambridge World History of Medical Ethics (Cambridge University Press 2009). Dr. McCullough’s research and scholarship has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, the Milbank Memorial Fund, and the Earhart, Greenwall and Littauer foundations.

Dr. McCullough received his A.B. in Art History from Williams College in 1969 and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975. He held a post-doctoral fellowship at The Hastings Center (1975-1976). He served on the medical and philosophy faculties at Texas A&M University (1976-1979) and Georgetown University (1979-1988), where he was also a Senior Research Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. He is married to historian, Linda J. Quintanilla, Ed.D. They now live in Austin, Texas.
August 1, 2016


Curriculum Vitae >
Biosketch >

Recent Publications

Baker RB, McCullough LB. Medical Ethics’ Appropriation of Moral Philosophy: The Case of the Sympathetic and the Unsympathetic Physician. Kennedy Inst Ethics J.: forthcoming March 2007. 

Skupski D, Chervenak FA, McCullough LB. An ethically justified decision-making pathway for the management of pregnancies complicated by twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome Fetal Diagn Ther: in press. 

McCullough LB, Coverdale JH, Chervenak FA. Constructing a systematic review for argument-based clinical ethics literature: the example of concealed medications. J Med Philos. 2007:32:65-76. 

Chervenak FA, McCullough LB, Levene MI. An ethically justified, clinically comprehensive approach to periviability: gynecologic, obstetric, perinatal, and neonatal dimensions. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007: in press. 

Braun U, McCullough LB. Defining limits: preventing inappropriate medical intervention in the care of terminally ill patients. BMJ 2007;334:239-41.


Recent Activities

(All presentations © L. McCullough 2007) 

Informed Consent, Assisted Consent and Assent 
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Ethics Workup: A Practical Method for Ethics Case Analysis and Argument 
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Ethical Challenges of Impaired Healthcare Professional for their Patients, Colleagues, and Organizational Leadership 
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Ethical Challenges of End of Life Decisionmaking 
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Ethics of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research 
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Ethical Challenges Concerning Futile Critical Care 
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