Helen Emmott, Health Ethicist

Helen Emmott

My name is Helen Emmott.
I am a Nurse Educator, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Ethicist, Teacher and Speaker

I work in various areas of healthcare ethics, including advance care planning, cultural diversity, nursing leadership, and aging and healthcare decision making. In my personal and professional work, I am still seeking to understand the bigger issues that patients and families confront as they age or their health declines; I want to provide good medical care without ever letting go of laughter and compassion.

Nurse and Patient Advocate

I began my nursing career working primarily in pediatric and adult intensive care units, but after ten years I was beset by doubts. Was nursing really what I wanted to do? I loved my patients but detested how often they and their loved ones were ignored or discounted when difficult decisions had to be made. I took time off to mother three children and explore other interests, but I also continued to work as a nurse educator, patient advocate and volunteer nurse in Kansas City and Haiti.

“Personal Review: Justice Analysis of Nursing Experiences in Haiti,” written by Helen Emmott, appeared in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

Healthcare Ethicist

At the age of forty, I enrolled in a philosophy course at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, where I discovered the field of healthcare ethics, which not only encourages but demands the involvement of patients and families in¬†healthcare decisions. After obtaining a degree in philosophy, I decided to add a master’s degree in Bioethics and Healthcare Policy from Loyola of Chicago to my nursing credentials.

In this audio (above), Helen explains why healthcare and social justice challenges exist not just in Haiti but in the heartland of America as well.  (January 14, 2011, The Center for Practical Bioethics).

Teacher and Speaker

I have served as adjunct faculty at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO. I enjoy speaking at various civic and community workshops on topics related to healthcare and ethics. My colleagues and friends at the Center for Practical Bioethics have a special place in my heart; they helped fire my imagination and trusted me in the journey.


My physician husband David, and I live in Kansas City, Missouri. We and our three grown children – Cameron, Libby, and Maggie – consider ourselves to be a medical family. David and I also share a passion for golf, so if you don’t find me working in Kansas City or golfing in the hill country of Texas, I’m probably visiting and playing with my grandchildren and best buddies: Ella Rose, Henry, Winnie or baby Mabel.

Combining nursing and ethics was a way to integrate the compassion I had as a nurse with my desire to give patients and families a voice, a dominant voice.

My Experience

Years as Nurse
Years as Faculty & Bioethicist
Speaking Engagements

Contact me!

Do you have questions? Are you interested in booking me for an event? Just send me a message using the form below.

Find Me at Upcoming Events!

I speak at universities, colleges, hospices, libraries, book clubs and many other civic organizations.

    The Little House Reading & Valentine Activity
    • 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    • The Little House 2808 W. 53rd St., Fairway, KS
    MiMi and the Magic Potion Book Signing
    • 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    • Webster House, 1644 Wyandotte Street, Kansas City, MO 64108
    MiMi and the Magic Potion Book Signing
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Indian Hill Country Club Front Lounge 6847 Tomahawk Rd. Mission Hills, KS 66208