Scott Y.H. Kim, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Department of Bioethics

NIH Clinical Center

Building 10, Room 1C118
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814


Research Topics

Scott Kim is a Senior Investigator in the Department of Bioethics and studies research ethics, especially the ethics of involving decisionally impaired persons in research, the ethics of high-risk research, and methodological issues in empirical bioethics research. He is also interested in the interface of conceptual and empirical methods of bioethics scholarship.

Current Research Interests

  1. Assessment of decision-making capacity in persons with neuropsychiatric disorders
  2. Ethics of research involving significant risks, including sham surgery trials and gene transfer, with focus on measurement of quality of informed consent
  3. Ethics of comparative effectiveness randomized trials
  4. Informed consent for open ended use of research materials
  5. Physician-assisted death and psychiatric illness


Prior to joining the NIH, Dr. Kim was Co-Director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University of Michigan. His work has been supported by the NIH, the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, Michael J Fox Foundation, and the Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholars Award in Bioethics. Aside from his numerous journal articles, he is the author of Evaluation of Capacity to Consent to Treatment and Research (Oxford, 2010). He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago and his MD from Harvard, and trained in psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Despite leaving Ann Arbor, he remains a loyal Wolverines fan.

Selected Publications

  1. Nicolini ME, Gastmans C, Kim SYH. Psychiatric euthanasia, suicide and the role of gender. Br J Psychiatry. 2022;220(1):10-13.
  2. Kim SYH, Kane NB, Ruck Keene A, Owen GS. Broad concepts and messy realities: optimising the application of mental capacity criteria. J Med Ethics. 2021.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Wednesday, August 10, 2022