About Dr. Nico Nortje
I am the Executive Director of the Section of Ethics in Cancer Care, Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Care Medicine, and Director of Goal Concordant Care & End-of-Life at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
My research focus revolve around end-of-life issues, vulnerable communities, goals-of-care, communication skills aquisition, decision-making, and education. My experience working with members of vulnerable communities has highlighted their plight and even more so when considering end-of-life care.
I have been involved in various projects in Africa, Canada, and the United States of America. I have worked with various stakeholders to improve patient access to healthcare delivery and understanding. I am passionate about highlighting various approaches to issues, and also to implement communication starategies in dealing with challenging situations. As an ethicist I have extensive experience in Critical Care Ethics. I have co-edited a few books and book chapters, and have an extensive list of peer-reviewed articles.
Other than these academic interests, I also believe that I have a moral obligation to help our next generation of healthcare providers integrate ethical thinking into their practice, and enjoy engaging with students from all walks of life.
Present Title & Affiliation
Professor Extraordinary, Division of Faculty of Community and Health, The University of the Western Cape, Bellville
I have a keen interest in how values inform decision-making among various stakeholder groups from different backgrounds.
Clinical Expertise: Clinical ethics, clinical ethics consultations, and end-of-life decision making of different population groups (i.e. informed; vulnerable; elderly)
Education & Training
|2010||University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, ZAF, MPhil, Business (Futures Studies)|
|2007||University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, ZAF, PHD, Ethics|
|2001||University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, ZAF, MA, Psychology|
|1996||University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, ZAF, BSocSc Hons, Psychology|
|1995||University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, ZAF, BSocSc, Psychology|
|2015-2015||Certificate, Ethics Teacher Training, UNESCO, Johannesburg|
|2008-2010||Post Graduate Diploma, Medical Law, University of South Africa, Pretoria|
Experience & Service
Assistant Professor, Department of Critical Care Medicine, Division of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine and Pain Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2017 - 2022
Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, The University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, 2011 - 2019
Abstract reviewer for 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 National Conference, American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, Rosemont, IL, 2018 - Present
Chair - Scientific Review Committee, International Association on Ethics Education (6th International Conference), Cape Town, 2018 - 2018
Institutional Committee Activities
Content Expert (Ethics), Clinical and Operational Leadership Team (COLT), 2019 - 2020
Associate Member, Institutional Review Board 4 (IRB4), 2018 - 2022
Member, Psychosocial, Behavioral, and Health Services Research Committee, 2018 - 2021
Member, Advanced Care Planning Committee, 2018 - 2019
Member, Psychosocial Council, 2017 - 2019
Honors & Awards
|2018||National Research Foundation Scholar Award (South Africa)|
- Nortje N, Zachariah F. Reddy A. Advance Care planning conversations: what constitutes best practice and the way forward. Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen, 2023.
- Hui D, Ahmed S, Nortje N, George M, Andersen CR, Wilson K, Urbauer D, Flowers C, Bruera E. Differential Impact of a Multicomponent Goals-of-Care Program in Patients with Hematologic and Solid Malignancies. Cancers 15(1507), 2023.
- Patel V, Cwalina TB, Gupta A, Nortje N, Mullangi S, Parikh RB, Shih YCT, Hussaini Q. Oncologist Participation and Performance in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. The Oncologist, 2023.
- Looijaard R, Nortje N. To have done everything. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 2023.
- Zhukovsky DS, Heung Y, Enriquez P, Itzep N, Nortje N, Stanton P, Wong A, Bruera E. Just-in-Time Decision Making: Preliminary Findings of a Goals of Care Rapid Response Team Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 2022.
- Nortje M, Haque S, Nortje, N. The Benefits of Informed Non-Dissent when Families have Difficulty Making a Decision. Canadian Journal of Bioethics, 2022.
- Hui D, Nortje N, George M, Wilson K, Urbauer DL, Lenz CA, Wallace SK, Andersen CR, Mendoza T, Haque S, Ahmed S, Delgado-Guay M, Dalal S, Rathi N, Reddy A, McQuade J, Flowers C, Pisters P, Aloia T, Bruera E. Impact of an Interdisciplinary Goals-of-Care Program Among Medical Inpatients at a Comprehensive Cancer Center During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Propensity Score Analysis. J Clin Oncol:JCO2200849. e-Pub 2022. PMID: 36201711.
- Patel VR, Gereta S, Blanton CJ, Chu AL, Patel AP, Mackert M, Zientek D, Nortjé N, Khurshid A, Moriates C, Wallingford G. Perceptions of Life Support and Advance Care Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global Study of Twitter Users. Chest 161(6):1609-1619, 2022. e-Pub 2022. PMID: 35077706.
- Choudhury D, Nortjé N. The Hidden Curriculum and Integrating Cure- and Care-based approaches to medicine. HEC Forum 34(1):41-53, 2022. e-Pub 2020. PMID: 32816176.
- Patel VR, Gereta S, Blanton CJ, Mackert M, Nortjé N, Moriates C. Shifting social media influences: Discussions about mechanical ventilation on Twitter during COVID-19. J Crit Care 67:191-192, 2022. e-Pub 2021. PMID: 34627649.
- Patel VR, Gereta S, Blanton CJ, Chu AL, Reddy NK, Mackert M, Nortjé N, Pignone MP. #ColonCancer: Social Media Discussions About Colorectal Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JCO Clin Cancer Inform 6:e2100180, 2022. PMID: 35025670.
- Nortjé N, Terrell KN. Continue with ICU care - she is a spiritual being. Indian J Med Ethics VII(2):138-141, 2022. PMID: 35765261.
- Hardy N, Nortje N. Retaining Hope While Respecting Patients’ Presumed Wishes: How Substituted Judgement Can Help. Canadian Journal of Bioethics / Revue canadienne de bioéthique 5(1):143-145. e-Pub 2022.
- Burns A, Hardy N, Nortjé, N. Appreciating the Dynamicity of Values at the End of Life: A Psychological and Ethical Analysis. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 12(20). e-Pub 2022.
- Jones-Bonofiglio K, Nortjé N, Webster L, Garros D. A Practical Approach to Hospital Visitation during a Pandemic: Responding with Compassion to Unfair Restrictions. Am J Crit Care 30(4):302-311, 2021. PMID: 33870412.
- Walther-Broussard L, Meyer T, Nortjé N. When hanging on at all costs is the only option. Canadian Journal of Bioethics 4(1):119-121, 2021.
- Nortjé N, Stepan K. Advanced Care Planning Conversations in the Oncology Setting: Tips from the Experts. J Cancer Educ 36(2):325-329, 2021. PMID: 31656027.
- Nortjé N, Jones-Bonofiglio K, Sotomayor CR. Exploring values among three cultures from a global bioethics perspective. Glob Bioeth 32(1):1-14, 2021. e-Pub 2021. PMID: 33658749.
- Nortje N, Jones-Bonofiglio K, Haque S, Rathi N. Decision-making framework for rural hospitals during a pandemic. International Journal of Healthcare Management, 2021. e-Pub 2021.
- Meyer T, Walther-Broussard L, Nortjé N. It takes time to let go. Narrat Inq Bioeth 11(3):1-5, 2021. PMID: 35370180.
- Nortje N, Terrell K. Continue with ICU care – she is a spiritual being. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 2021.
- Pater VR, Gereta S, Blanton CJ, Mackert M, Nortje N, Moriates C. Shifting Social Media Influence: Analysis of Tweets About Mechanical Ventilation During COVID-19. Journal of Critical Care, 2021.
- Hardy N & Nortje N. Facilitated Conversation: Tools in the ethicist's toolkit. Canadian Journal of Bioethics 3(1), 2020.
- Jones-Bonofiglio K, Nortje N. Policy and Decision Making Framework for South African Physicians during the COVID-19 Pandemic. South African Medical Journal 110(7):613-616, 2020.
- Stepan K, Bashoura L, George M, Griffith W, Meyer M, Nortjé N, Price K, Zhukovsky DS, Rodriguez MA. Building an Infrastructure and Standard Methodology for Actively Engaging Patients in Advance Care Planning. J Oncol Pract 15(12):e1085-e1091, 2019. e-Pub 2019. PMID: 31596647.
- Choudhury D & Nortje N. Respecting Cultural Differences in Goals of Care Conversations. Canadian Journal of Bioethics 2(2):143-144, 2019.
- Nortje N. Speaking for our father – a narrative analysis. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 9(2), 2019.
- Cunningham TV, Chatburn A, Coleman C, DeRenzo EG, Furfari K, Frye J, Glover AC, Kenney M, Nortjé N, Malek J, Repenshek M, Sheppard F, Crites JS. Comprehensive Quality Assessment in Clinical Ethics. J Clin Ethics 30(3):284-296, 2019. PMID: 31573973.
- Nortje, N.. Helping Surrogate Decision-Makers Through Difficult Conversations. Canadian Journal of Bioethics 1(2):89-90, 2018.
- Fouche P, Nortje N, Welman C, van Niekerk R. Emily Hobhouse's Psychosocial Development trajectory as Anti-War Campaigner: A Levinsonian Psychobiography. Indo-Pacific Jopurnal of Phenomenology 18:1-15, 2018.
- Nortjé N, Hoffmann WA. Perspectives on the development of professionalism as experienced by radiography students. Radiography (Lond) 24(2):110-114, 2018. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 29605106.
- Nortjé N. Attributes contributing to the development of professionalism as described by dietetics students. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition 30(1):21-23, 2017.
- Nortje N, Faber M, de Villiers A. School tuck shops in South Africa—an ethical appraisal. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition 30(3):74-79, 2017.
- Nortjé N, De Jongh J. Professionalism – A case for medical education to honour the societal contract. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy 47(2):41-44, 2017.
- Nortjé N, Hoffmann WA. Seven year overview (2007-2013) of ethical transgressions by registered healthcare professionals in South Africa. Health SA Gesondheid 21(1):46-53, 2016.
- Nortjé N, De Jongh J. Client Confidentiality: Perspectives Of Students Engaged In A Health Care Training Programme. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 9(1):31-34, 2016.
- Fouché P, Burnell B, van Niekerk R, Nortjé, N. The faith development of the anti-apartheid theologian Beyers Naude: A Psychobiography. Spirituality in Clinical Practice 3(4):276-288, 2016.
- Hoffmann WA, Nortjé N. Patterns of unprofessional conduct by medical practitioners in South Africa (2007–2013). South African Family Practice 58(3):108-113, 2016.
- Nortjé N, Albertyn R. The Cultural language of Pain – A South African Study. South African Family Practice 28(2):77-80, 2015.
- Nortjé N, Hoffmann WA. Ethics Misconduct amongst Dietetic Practitioners In South Africa (2007-2013). South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition 45(2):260-270, 2015.
- Nortjé N, Hoffmann WA. Ethical Misconduct of Registered Psychologists In South Africa During The Period 2007-2013. South African Journal of Psychology 45(2):260-270, 2015.
- Nortjé N, De Jongh J. Ethical dilemmas experienced by Occupational Therapy students – The reality. African Journal of Health Professions Education 7(2):187-189, 2015.
- Nortjé N, Esterhuyse K. Changing students’ moral reasoning ability – is it at all possible?. African Journal of Health Professions Education 7(2):180-182, 2015.
- Hoffmann WA, Nortjé N. Ethical misconduct by registered physiotherapists in South Africa (2007–2013): A mixed methods approach. South African Journal of Physiotherapy 71(1):1-7, 2015.
- Nortjé N, Hoffmann WA. Common ethical transgressions by registered Occupational Therapists. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy 45(3):55-57, 2015.
- Nortjé N, Hoffmann WA. Professional consequence for dentists involved in unethical decision-making in South Africa. J Forensic Odontostomatol 32 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):22-9, 2014. e-Pub 2014. PMID: 25557412.
- Albertyn R, Nortjé N. Retrospective assessment of pain and suffering in child abuse and homicide victims. Journal of Social Work 50(3):410-420, 2014.
- Nortjé N. Ethical tensions faced by dietetic students during fieldwork. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition 6(1):28-31, 2014.
- Strydom L, Nortjé N, Beukes R, Esterhuyse K, van der Westhuisen, J. Job satisfaction amongst teachers at special schools. South African Journal of Education 32(3):255-266, 2013.
- Nortjé N, Fouché P, Gogo, O. The neo-Adlerian holistic wellness of Brenda Fassie: A psychobiography. Online Journal of African Affairs 2(2), 2013.
- Solomons N, Nortjé N. Treating an intervention level 1 (IL-1) patient –. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition 26(4):176-180, 2013.
- Nortjé N. Cultural Perspectives on Euthanasia. Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences 1(5):77-80, 2013.
- Esterhuyse K, Nortjé N, Pienaar A, Beukes R. Sense of humour and adolescents’ cognitive flexibility. South African Family Practice 55(1):90-95, 2013.
- van Niekerk A, Nortjé N. Phronesis and an ethics of Responsibility. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6(1):28-31, 2013.
- Swanepoel P, Esterhuyse K, Beukes R, Nortjé, N. Die rol van coping in die verband tussen geestelike welstand en depressie by predikante. (The role of coping with regards to spiritual wellbeing and depression amongst ministers of faith). Practical Theology in South Africa 68(1):1071-1079, 2012.
- Lowe, C, Du Plessis, E, Nortjé, N. Perceived Child Rearing Practices as Predictors of Student’s Satisfaction with Sexual Relationships. Journal of Psychology in Africa 21(4):595-598, 2011.
- Fouché P, Nortjé N, Phillips K, Stroud L. Psychofortology of Women undergoing Infertility Treatment. Journal of Psychology in Africa 21(4):541-548, 2011.
- Nortjé, N, de Vos, H, le Roux, M. The attitudes of older South Africans towards euthanasia. Social Work – A professional journal for the social worker 40(3):283-293, 2004.
- Nortje N, Zachariah F, Reddy, a. Advance Care Planning: What constitutes best practice and the way forward. ZEFQ The Journal of Evidence and Quality in Health Care.
- Nortje N, Hoffmann WA. Research ethics in social sciences and integrity in Africa. In: Social Science Research Ethics in Africa. Springer: Dordrecht, 117-123, 2019.
- Hoffmann WA, Nortjé N. Ethics review framework and guidelines for social science research. In: Social Science Research Ethics in Africa. Springer: Dordrecht, 229-248, 2019.
- Nortje N, Mfutso-Bengo J, Hoffmann, WA. Bioethics and Its Development on the African Continent. In: African Perspectives on Ethics for Healthcare Professionals. Springer: Dordrecht, 1-10, 2018.
- Nortje N, Hoffmann WA, de Jongh J. Professionalism in a changing society - The role of Ethics. In: African Perspectives on Ethics for Healthcare Professionals. Springer: Dordrecht, 11-24, 2018.
- Kunneke E, Swart R, Nortje N. Ethics for the dietetic profession - A South African perspective. In: African Perspectives on Ethics for Healthcare Professionals. Springer: Dordrecht, 91-106, 2018.
- Hoffmann WA, Nortjé N. Curriculum guidelines for teaching healthcare ethics at an undergraduate level. In: African Perspectives on Ethics for Healthcare Professionals. Springer: Dordrecht, 251-266, 2018.
- Hoffmann WA, Nortjé N. Education: Assessment. In: Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics. Springer: New York, 1-12, 2016.
- Nortjé N. Critical Illness and Care. In: Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics. Springer: New York, 1-7, 2016.
- Nortjé N. Passive Euthanasia. In: Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics. Springer: New York, 1-7, 2016.
- Nortjé N, Gwyther L. Ethical Issues. In: Legal Aspects of Palliative Care. 2nd. HPCSA: Cape Town, South Africa, 242, 2014.
Books (edited and written)
- Nortje N, Visage R, Wessels JA. Social Science Research Ethics in Africa. Ed(s) Nortje N, Visage R, Wessels JA. Springer: Dordrecht, 2019.
- Nortje N, Hoffmann WA, de Jongh J. African Perspectives on Ethics for Healthcare Professionals. Ed(s) Nortje N, Hoffmann WA, de Jongh J. Springer: Dordrecht, 2018.