Dr Cristina S. Richie

Visiting Research Fellow
Dr Cristina S. Richie

IASH-SSPS Fellow, September 2020 - April 2021

Visiting Research Fellow, October 2022 - December 2023

Project title: Economic Policies for Medical Reproduction that Support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Project description: Health care produces a significant amount of carbon dioxide in many countries. In 2017, the National Health Service, Health, and Social Care sectors had a carbon output (CO2) of 27.1 million tons. Carbon dioxide emissions contribute to climate change, climate-change related health hazards, and perpetuate environmental racism. Basic health care is a human right and should be provided regardless of carbon impact. Yet, not all health care services cure, treat, or prevent disease. Medical reproduction (MR), also known as assisted reproductive technologies, is a phrase to summarize the intervention of technology into human reproduction; MR does not cure, treat, or prevent infertility. Simultaneously, there is a lack of distributive health care justice worldwide. Developing world women, in particular, suffer from insufficient access to contraception, maternal care, HIV treatment, and breast cancer screening, among other basic medical needs. Distributive health care justice demands a response to unmet health care needs. Yet, the imperative for distributive health care justice and current medical industry carbon emissions threatens to expand the total carbon impact of medical care unless thoughtful policies are proposed. My IASH-SSSP project will develop economic policies for MR that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of reducing global maternal mortality (Target 3.1), increasing access to reproductive rights (Target 5.6) and implementing climate change policies (Target 13.2), thus addressing these social issues.


Cristina Richie, PhD is Lecturer and Cohort Lead for the MSc in Data and Artificial Intelligence Ethics at the University of Edinburgh’s Futures Institute, and was previously a Lecturer in the Philosophy and Ethics of Technology department at the Delft University of Technology and an Assistant Professor in the Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies Department at the Brody School of Medicine. Dr Richie has also taught at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Tufts University and held visiting scholar positions at the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School, the Just World Institute at the University of Edinburgh, the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law at KU Leuven, and the Hastings Center.

Dr Richie is the author of Principles of Green Bioethics: Sustainability in Health Care (Michigan State University Press, 2019) and over forty articles in journals including the American Journal of Bioethics, the Journal of Medical Ethics, the Hastings Center Report, and Developing World Bioethics. She is currently writing her second monograph on environmental ethics and medical reproduction and has research interests in environmental ethics, queer/ feminist bioethics, and theological ethics.

Additionally, Richie is a joint-Editor of Global Bioethics, the Chair of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Environmental Bioethics Affinity Group, and an Associate Fellow in the Academy of Fellows at the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity, Trinity International University (Deerfield, Il).

Recent Publications:


Principles of Green Bioethics: Sustainability in Health Care (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2019).

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“Sustainability and Bioethics: Where We Have Been, Where Are, Where We Are Going,” The New Bioethics 26, no. 2 (2020): 82-90.

“Whose Interests are Advanced by LGBT Bioethics?,” Ethics, Medicine and Public Health – Éthique, Médecine et Politiques Publiques 13 (2020): 100467.

“Sex, not Gender. A Plea for Accuracy,” Experimental & Molecular Medicine 51, no. 133 (2019): 1.

“Not Sick: Liberal, Trans, and CripFeminist Critiques of Medicalization,” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 16, no. 3 (2019): 375–387.

“A Queer, Feminist Bioethics Critique of Facial Feminization Surgery,” American Journal of Bioethics 18, no. 12 (2018): 33-35.

“Medical Technologies, Environmental Conservation, and Health Care,” Medicina e Morale 65, no. 6 (2016): 759-772.

“Lessons from Queer Bioethics: A Response to Timothy F. Murphy,” Bioethics 30, no. 5 (2016): 365–371.

“Carbon Reduction as Care for Our Common Home: Laudato Si’, Catholic Social Teaching, and the Common Good,” Asian Horizons- Dharmaram Journal of Theology 9, no. 4 (2015): 695-708.

“What Would An Environmentally Sustainable Reproductive Technology Industry Look Like?,” Journal of Medical Ethics 41, no. 5 (2015): 383-387.

“Reading Between the Lines: Infertility and Current Health Insurance Policies in the United States,” Clinical Ethics 9, no. 4 (2014): 127-134.

“A Brief History of Environmental Bioethics,” AMA Journal of Ethics (formerly Virtual Mentor) 16, no. 9 (2014): 749-752.

“Voluntary Sterilization for Childfree Women: Understanding Patient Profiles, Evaluating Accessibility, Examining Legislation,” Hastings Center Report 43, no. 6 (2013): 36-44.