Johan C. Bester

Director of Bioethics, UNLV School of Medicine
Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
Expertise: Vaccines, Bioethics, Clinical Ethics, Medical Education

Biography

Johan Bester is an expert on ethical aspects of vaccinations, bioethics, medical education, and pediatric ethics. Bester has studied issues around vaccination ethics and policy, including informed consent, moral decision making and public health ethics. Bester's research specialties include clinical ethics practice, bioethical analysis, and ethics of vaccinations with an emphasis on the measles vaccination.

A former physician, Bester completed medical training in South Africa, and practiced family and emergency medicine for 12 years in a variety of settings, including South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Prior to joining UNLV School of Medicine, Bester was a clinical assistant professor at the University of Calgary, where he developed and delivered ethics curriculum and workshops. In 2016, Bester completed a year of fellowship training in clinical ethics at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and spent an additional year on staff as a clinical ethicist. He taught bioethics in the medical school and medical center, engaged in bioethics scholarship and publication, and provided ethics consultations. 

Bester's research has been published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, JAMA Pediatrics, AMA Journal of Ethics, and the American Journal of Bioethics, among others.

Education

  • MB.Ch.B., Medicine and Surgery, Stellenbosch University
  • Ph.D., Philosophy, Stellenbosch University
  • M.Phil., Philosophy, Stellenbosch University

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Johan C. Bester In The News

Las Vegas Review Journal
January 20, 2021
The 71-year-old raised his arms above his head in triumph after getting a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning at the Cashman Center downtown.
El Tiempo
January 20, 2021
The 71-year-old man raised his arms in triumph after receiving a COVID-19 injection Tuesday morning at Cashman Center.
leapsmag
December 10, 2020
The highly anticipated rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine poses ethical considerations: When will trial volunteers who got a placebo be vaccinated? And how will this affect the data in those trials?
Mashable
December 3, 2020
There's an excellent reason why you've never seen someone suffering the ills of smallpox, with hard, scabbing pustules forming on their body "like peas under the skin." It's the same reason polio, a crippling disease, no longer exists in the U.S.

Articles Featuring Johan C. Bester

medical worker in full protective suit making "LV" sign with hands
Business and Community | December 31, 2020
As the pandemic tightened its grip on Nevada, the nation, and the world, UNLV responded in ways big and small. Members of the media also turned to UNLV's faculty experts for answers.
Campus News | December 10, 2020
A collection of news stories highlighting the election, COVID-19, and scientific discovery at UNLV.
Campus News | November 5, 2020
A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV’s commitment to community, health care, and research.
A medical syringe
Research | May 1, 2020
UNLV’s Director of Bioethics explores whether vaccine-refusing parents will reconsider their beliefs in light of COVID-19.