The Institute for Health Quality and Ethics

Protecting and advancing the social and health foundations of a free society

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle."  
          - Martin Luther King, Jr.


Our Organization

We are a national, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the right of all individuals to determine the course of their own lives.  We advocate for open access to scientific research, the use of evidence-based medicine, and transparency in government policy-making and oversight.  We are dedicated to the promotion of ethical practices in medicine and to helping patients exercise their rights to make informed medical decisions. 

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InHQE the News...

Happygram, an InHQE supported documentary on the issue of informed consent in mammography screening, has won First Prize for the Providence Film Festival Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, as well as several other awards at film festivals across the country. More info at 

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InHQE Executive Director Thomas Nerney and President Julie Marron have co-authored a chapter in the TASH publication Equity and Full Participation for Individuals With Severe Disabilities: A Vision for the Future

Informed Consent
InHQE Founding Member Hallie Leighton is profiled on
CBS Eye on New York, New York Now on PBS (at 16:34) and CNN discussing the widespread practice of withholding material medical information from women who obtain mammograms for the early detection of breast cancer.  More Info on Breast Cancer

InHQE Executive Director Thomas Nerney has published a new book which chronicles the evolution of the self-determination movement for people with developmental disabilities through a series of his essays and speeches. This book also includes some of the seminal work done by a number of his contemporaries in the field. (Coming Soon)


Many of us take our basic freedoms and rights for granted.  We live where we want to live, socialize with people of our own choosing, and select our preferred occupations and pastimes in our pursuit of happiness. Few of us realize how these basic rights are denied to many within our society.  The fight for civil rights is not a chapter in the history of our country, but a fight which must be fought every day.  Individuals with developmental disabilities (and many others) continue to be marginalized by our society, by our economy, and by our public policies and institutions.  We are committed to changing the beliefs within our society and the structures of our institutions to ensure equal citizenship for all.

Informed Consent

Our modern medical system is predicated on the foundation of informed consent...that each individual has the right to all material medical information required to make informed decisions regarding his or her own health care.  However, widespread, systemic practices of withholding material medical information from patients persists in our health care system today. We are dedicated to unearthing and eliminating these practices. 

Open Access to Research

Tax dollars are frequently used to fund research which impacts social practices and health policy in the United States.  However, the public is often denied access to this research, and many professionals cannot afford to access research in their own fields.  When a greater number of people (both professionals within fields and interested members of the public) have access to this research, all parties benefit. We support full and open access to publicly funded research as well as greater transparency in how research is funded, what research becomes published, and how findings are incorporated into clinical practice and social policies.

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