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, Peteet JR, Donovan GK, Kim SYH. Euthanasia and assisted suicide of persons with psychiatric disorders: the challenge of personality disorders. Psychol Med. 2020;50(4):575-582.

  2. Mangino DR, Nicolini ME, De Vries RG, Kim SYH. Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide of Persons With Dementia in the Netherlands. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2020;28(4):466-477.

  3. Kane NB, Keene AR, Owen GS, Kim SYH. Applying decision-making capacity criteria in practice: A content analysis of court judgments. PLoS One. 2021;16(2):e0246521.

  4. 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.

  5. Miller DG, Kim SYH, Li X, Dickert NW, Flory J, Runge CP, Relton C. Ethical Acceptability of Postrandomization Consent in Pragmatic Clinical Trials. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(8):e186149.

This page was last updated on September 8th, 2021