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. Berens N, Kim SY. Rapid-Response Treatments for Depression and Requests for Physician-Assisted Death: An Ethical Analysis. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2022.

  3. Kim SY, De Vries RG, Peteet JR. Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide of Patients With Psychiatric Disorders in the Netherlands 2011 to 2014. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(4):362-8.

  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. Kim SY. Ways of Debating Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: Implications for Psychiatry. Perspect Biol Med. 2021;64(1):29-43.

This page was last updated on August 10th, 2022