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Office of the Chief Medical Officer

Making Healthcare Decisions Through a Bioethical Lens

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Bioethics plays a critical role in the advancement of human health by providing ethical and just applications of new science, technological and therapeutic breakthroughs. From our earliest days, ethical decision-making that puts people first has guided our business. Today, Johnson & Johnson is collaborating to advance bioethical standards across the industry to meet and exceed the changing needs of future generations.

Bioethics is an applied discipline that takes the principles of ethics and applies them to biological research, science and medicine. As a patient-centered and ethics-driven company, Johnson & Johnson is committed to the highest ethical standards in every decision that we make. We adhere to bioethical principles, including transparency, integrity and respect for the rights and welfare of all people.

Bioethics can guide us on critical questions that we encounter in our work, such as how we should design clinical studies, how and when we should share our research findings or how we can make medicines available to people who can’t access them. Most recently, we engaged with internal and external experts in medicine, epidemiology and bioethics to create an ethics-based framework, consistent with our Credo, that guides how we will allocate the supply of our products that we are currently studying for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

Across many scientific and medical fields, using a bioethical lens to make decisions around complicated issues or dilemmas is critical to translating science and research into balanced outcomes that advance health for everyone. For example, how can we be fair and equitable in making a potentially lifesaving investigational drug, that is in short supply, available to someone who might desperately need it and might otherwise die? Or how can we design research studies to evaluate the safety of medicines without compromising the safety of patients who are in the studies?

Read more about our approach to governing bioethics across the company through our Johnson & Johnson Bioethics Committee, an internal group within Johnson & Johnson that is responsible for advocating adherence to bioethical principles; providing an expert forum for J&J teams to obtain guidance on ethical issues; and for championing J&J’s commitment to ethical decision making across the enterprise.

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