In This Section

Chris Feudtner, MD, PhD, MPH
Chris Feudtner
Division Chief, Division of General Pediatrics

Dr. Feudtner's research strives to advance the well-being of pediatric patients with complex chronic conditions and serious, often rare, illnesses, and to promote the well-being of their families. Along with his colleagues, Dr. Feudtner is conducting studies focusing on pediatric palliative care, complex care, the impact on families of pediatric serious illness, and pediatric medical ethics.



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As a pediatrician, clinical investigator, and ethicist, Dr. Feudtner has focused his  career on improving the lives of children with complex chronic conditions and their families, including the provision of palliative care when indicated.

In the realm of pediatric palliative care, he is board-certified in hospice and palliative care medicine. He co-founded and co-lead the Pediatric Palliative Care Research Network, which has over 100 members across the United States and beyond. Currently, he is the principal investigator for the “SHARE” RO1-funded multicenter prospective observational cohort study of pediatric patients receiving palliative care services. He has been honored to receive the Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award (2014) and the Award for Excellence in Scientific Research in Palliative Care from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (2019).

Regarding pediatric complex care, Dr. Feudtner has been a practicing “complex care” pediatrician for over 20 years. Earlier work on pediatric complex chronic conditions – enabling epidemiologic and health services research studies of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with these conditions –has resulted in hundreds of citations with work by other investigators, and has helped to bring the importance of this domain of pediatrics into clearer focus.

In the field of medical ethics, Dr. Feudtner is the director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Department of Medical Ethics, which provides clinical ethics consultation and ethics engagement throughout the hospital and network. As an investigator and scholar, he has examined the ways that emotions and cognitive heuristics shape medical decision-making, ethical considerations for programs aiming to serve children with medical complexity, and the interface of ethics and palliative care. In recognition for this work, he was appointed as a Hastings Center Fellow (2014) and received the American Academy of Pediatrics’ William G. Bartholome Award for Ethical Excellence (2017).

Education and Training

BA, Princeton University (Molecular Biology), 1985

MA, Lancaster University (History of Science), 1987

MD, University of Pennsylvania, 1991

PhD, University of Pennsylvania (History of Medicine), 1995

MPH, University of Washington (Health Services), 2000

Titles and Academic Titles

Division Chief, Division of General Pediatrics

Director, Department of Medical Ethics

Steven D. Handler Endowed Chair of Medical Ethics

Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Ethics and Health Policy

Professional Memberships

AOA Medical Society, 1995-

Society for Pediatric Research

Academic Pediatric Assocciation

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Society for Bioethics and Humanities

American Association for the History of Medicine

American Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Professional Awards

William Osler Medal, American Association of the History of Medicine, 1993

Stanley Stamm Role Model in Medicine Award, Pediatrics, University of Washington, 2002

Class of 1990 David Cornfeld Bedside Teaching Award, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2005

2011 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, Arnold P. Gold Foundation, 2011

Samuel Martin Health Evaluation Sciences Research Award, University of Pennsylvania, 2011

Mentor Award, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2012

Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award, The Hastings Center, 2013

Fellow, The Hastings Center, 2014

Publication Highlights

Feudtner C, Schall T, Hill D. Parental Personal Sense of Duty as a Foundation of Pediatric Medical Decision-making. Pediatrics. 2018 Nov; 142(Suppl 3):S133-S141. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-0516C. PMID: 30385619
Hill DL, Nathanson PG, Carroll KW, Schall TE, Miller VA, Feudtner C. Changes in Parental Hopes for Seriously Ill Children. Pediatrics. 2018 Apr; 141(4). pii: e20173549. PMID: 29567813
Feudtner C, Schall T, Nathanson P, Berry J. Ethical Framework for Risk Stratification and Mitigation Programs for Children With Medical Complexity. Pediatrics. 2018 Mar; 141(Suppl 3):S250-S258. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-1284J. PMID: 29496976
Antiel RM, Flake AW, Collura CA, Johnson MP, Rintoul NE, Lantos JD, Curlin FA, Tilburt JC, Brown SD, Feudtner C. Weighing the Social and Ethical Considerations of Maternal-Fetal Surgery. Pediatrics. 2017 Dec; 140(6). pii: e20170608. PMID: 29101225
Feudtner C, Walter JK, Faerber JA, Hill DL, Carroll KW, Mollen CJ, Miller VA, Morrison WE, Munson D, Kang TI, Hinds PS. Good-parent beliefs of parents of seriously ill children. JAMA Pediatr. 2015 Jan; 169(1):39-47. PMID: 25419676

Links of Interest