Peter DePergola Headshot
Peter DePergola, Ph.D., MTS
Shaughness Family Chair for the Study of the Humanities; Associate Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities; Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies; Director, Ethical Leadership and Bioethics and Medical Humanities Programs; Executive Director and Fellow, St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture
Alumnae Library 312
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B.A.Elms College
MTSBoston College
Ph.D.Duquesne University


Dr. Peter DePergola is the Shaughness Family Chair for the Study of the Humanities, Associate Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Director of the Ethical Leadership and Bioethics and Medical Humanities Programs, and Executive Director and Fellow of the St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture at Elms College. He serves concurrently as Chief Ethics Officer, Senior Director of Clinical Ethics, Chief of the Ethics Consultation Service, and Chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee at Baystate Health. Dr. DePergola holds secondary academic and research appointments at University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, Sacred Heart University, University of Saint Joseph, Bay Path University, the American Academy of Neurology, and TEDMED.

In addition to Dr. DePergola’s system-wide clinical, research, organizational, and academic responsibilities at Baystate Health, he serves as Ethicist-in-Residence to the Institutional Review Boards, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Organ Donation and Allocation Committee. In 2013, Dr. DePergola became the organization’s first full-time clinical bioethicist, where he has since developed innovative, nationally-recognized policy related to public health pandemics, resource scarcity, and end-of-life care. In 2017, he became the youngest senior leader in the 140-year history of Baystate Health.

A professional member of several international academic societies and associations, Dr. DePergola earned his B.A. degree summa cum laude in philosophy and religious studies at Elms College, his M.T.S. degree magna cum laude in ethics at Boston College, and his Ph.D. degree summa cum laude in healthcare ethics at Duquesne University. He completed his residency in neuroethics at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, his fellowship in neuropsychiatric ethics at Tufts University School of Medicine, and his advanced training in neurothanatological ethics at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. DePergola is the Editor-in-Chief of Charity in Truth: A Journal of Ethics, Religion, and Culture, and the Executive Editor of the Journal of Health Ethics. He is an editorial board member of multiple scholarly journals and academic presses, and the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications that span the fields of philosophy, theology, business, law, medicine, bioethics, and medical humanities. Dr. DePergola’s first book, Forget Me Not: The Neuroethical Case Against Memory Manipulation (Vernon Press, 2018), has been critically acclaimed as a landmark achievement in the field of neuroethics and was the #1 New Release in Medical Ethics on at the time of its publication.

Dr. DePergola serves as an expert medical witness on ethical issues for the Public Defender Agency of Massachusetts, an expert ethics consultant on bioethical issues for the Massachusetts State Senate, an expert bioethics consultant on scarce resource allocation for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and an expert bioethics consultant on neuroethical issues for the United States Department of Defense. He is appointed Bureau Expert of the International Neuroethics Society, and has consulted on numerous high-profile international bioethics cases, including the world’s first (proposed) head transplant in Italy, deep brain stimulation for locked-in-syndrome in Malaysia, opt-out organ donation legislation in France and Portugal, and psychiatric treatments for existential suffering in Canada, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

In 2020, Dr. DePergola became the youngest tenured faculty member and endowed chair in the 100-year history of Elms College. The recipient of various honors and awards for academic scholarship and healthcare leadership, his current research explores the theoretical and empirical metaphysics of hope, particularly as it relates to the neuroethics of moral virtue and end-of-life decision making.