WRTC Reflects on the Many Contributions of Dr. Robert Veatch

Robert M. Veatch, Ph.D., one of the early founders of the Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) died Monday, November 9, 2020, at the age of 81 after a short illness.

Dr. Veatch, who served as a board member of WRTC for over 30 years, was a founding figure in the field of bioethics. He was a Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Professor Emeritus of Medical Ethics, and a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Georgetown University.

In the area of transplantation, Bob shared his expertise in developing and refining policies that support fair and ethical acquisition and allocation of organs. In addition to his WRTC work, he also served as a member of the Ethics Committee and the Vascular Composite Allograft Committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

Here are some words from his colleagues on the WRTC Board of Directors:

“We are so grateful for Dr. Veatch’s many years of service and all that he did to make WRTC the organization it is today. He was a bit like EF Hutton…when Bob Veatch spoke “everyone listened.” He was so intellectual, thoughtful and completely committed to donation and transplantation.” – Lori Brigham, President and CEO, WRTC

“The loss of Dr. Veatch is such a significant loss of such an incredibly accomplished man who has left an indubitable footprint in the world of Ethics. We all were so blessed to have known him. – Sophia Smith, MD, Children’s National Hospital, Chairperson, WRTC Board of Directors

“Dr. Veatch always maintained a quiet sense of authority, coupled with kindness, in our deliberations. Often times, when I felt we were stuck at an impasse, he would share ethical principles, which clearly established the compass point to resolve our issue.” –  Kenneth P. Moritsugu, MD, MPH, FACPM, Former Acting U.S. Surgeon General

“Bob was a luminary in bioethics, transplantation and the intersection thereof. I learned a great deal from him in his many years of service on the board. And, I am confident donors and recipients alike have benefited from his extraordinary intellect and passion for advancing the science of donation, while always maintaining the ethical high ground.” – Keith Ghezzi, MD, Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal Healthcare Industry Group