Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, the former president and chairman of Yale-New Haven Medical Center, Inc., has been appointed to the President’s Council on Bioethics following an announcement by President George Bush ’68.

The council, which was formed in 2001, advises the president on issues pertaining to biomedical science and technology. Pellegrino will be designated chairperson of the council upon his appointment, according to a White House press release.

Yale-New Haven Medical Center, Inc. was formed in 1958 to serve as an administrative arm overseeing the joint interests and initiatives of Yale-New Haven Hospital, the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing. Pellegrino served from 1975 until 1978 when he was succeeded by G. Harold Welch.

Pellegrino, a professor emeritus of medicine and medical ethics at Georgetown’s Center for Clinical Bioethics and former president of Catholic University, will assume his position on the bioethics council this October.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to participate in this very important work,” said Pellegrino in a Georgetown University Medical Center press release. “The council has set a very high bar in addressing many of the serious bioethical issues before our country. I hope to continue the task, as many significant issues remain, ranging from the challenges of ensuring access to health care to meeting critically important needs in end-of-life care.”

Pellegrino, much like his predecessor Leon Kass, cannot be characterized within the mainstream of American bioethics, said Dr. Robert Levine, co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Yale Interdisciplinary Program in Bioethics. The language of Pellegrino’s writings has roots in Roman Catholic moral philosophy, Levine said. Although his arguments and conclusions are not always compatible with church doctrine, Pellegrino often employs its language and conceptual constructs.