ASBH History

The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) was founded in January 1998 through the consolidation of three existing associations in the field: the Society for Health and Human Values (SHHV), the Society for Bioethics Consultation (SBC), and the American Association of Bioethics (AAB). This consolidation was organized by representatives of all three associations, was voted on by mail ballot of the full memberships in fall 1997, and was overwhelmingly approved. More information is available about the past leadership of each of these three founding organizations.

Our Logo

In 2006, Kathryn Hinsch and Gina Sullivan won a contest with their design of an abstract and yet concrete logo featuring a simple graphic and strong typeface. The letters B and H honor the consolidation of SHHV, SBC, and AAB, and the plus sign symbolizes the symbiotic and harmonious relationship between the two disciplines.

The Three Founding Organizations


The American Association for Bioethics (AAB) was formed in the fall of 1994. It promoted the exchange of ideas among bioethics scholars, enhanced the clinical activities of bioethicists, encouraged discussion and research in bioethics, and encouraged teaching and development of new scholars and participants in the field. The AAB archives were transferred to the Moody Medical Library in early 2001.


The Society for Bioethics Consultation (SBC) was officially established in 1986. Its mission was to study ethics consultation and to support those who provided it in health care at that time. The BSC was the first specialty group to focus on ethics consultation. The SBC archives were transferred to the Moody Medical Library in early 2001.


The Society for Health and Human Values (SHHV) was officially established in 1969 as a membership organization for persons committed to human values in medicine. SHHV is a professional organization whose primary objective was to encourage and promote informed concern for human values as an essential, explicit dimension of education for health professionals. To accomplish this objective, the Society sought, through a variety of endeavors: to facilitate communication and cooperation among professionals from diverse disciplines who share such an objective; to support critical and scholarly efforts to develop knowledge, concepts and programs dealing with the relation of human values to education for the health professional. The SHHV archives were transferred to the Moody Medical Library in February 1998.

Download the ASBH History Project