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Helen S . Chapple, PhD, RN, MSN



School of Medicine
Bioethics (Graduate Certificate)
Clinical Ethics Consultation (Graduate Certificate)
Public Health MPH (Master's)
Bioethics (Master of Science)
Medical Humanities

Helen S . Chapple, PhD, RN, MSN


Bio for Helen Stanton Chapple, PhD, RN, MA, MSN
Helen S. Chapple, a professor at Creighton University, teaches online in the Masters in Bioethics Program. Her 20 years as a bedside nurse included oncology, hospice, research, and ICU nursing. Current research interests include dying persons as an unrepresented population; US racial history and the pandemic; and relating solidarity and autonomy.  She authored “No Place for Dying: Hospitals and the Ideology of Rescue,” published by Routledge, and co-edited the 3rd edition of “The Handbook of Thanatology.”
Dr. Chapple’s terminal degree is a PhD in Medical Anthropology from UVa.  She has been writing and teaching in the areas of ethics and thanatology for 30 years, focusing on the phenomenon of dying in the culture of US health care and its demographics, and she has published articles, books, and book chapters along the way.  A current interest is the correlation between terror management theory and group status threat among white persons in the US and its explanatory potential.

Teaching Interests

  • Medical Anthropology

Research Focus

End of life care;  health facility policies; white superiority and vaccine hesitancy; terror management theory; state regulation of post mortem care.


Medical Humanities




  • A Companion to the Anthropology of Death
    Helen Stanton Chapple, The Disappearance of Dying and Why It Matters: In A. C. G. M. Robben (Ed.), A Companion to the Anthropology of Death , p. 429-443 2018
  • No Place for Dying: Hospitals and the Ideology of Rescue
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Ethnography of how dying occurs in US hospitals, p. 1-324 2016


  • Nursing Ethics: Normative Foundations, Advanced Concepts, and Emerging Issues
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Gillen, M. Help Wanted: Technology, ICU Nurses, and Death. In M. Deem and J. Lingler (Ed). 2022
  • American Medical Association Journal of Ethics
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Solidarity in Mortal Time
    24, p. E1149-1154 2022
  • Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice
    Kirkpatrick, A. J., Thinnes, A.M., Selig, C.L., Chapple, H. S., Iverson, L.M., Nystrom, K.K., Shirley, N., Hercinger, M. Jorgenson, D., Janky, G.O., Baumberger, B. F., & Pick, A. Building interprofessional team competence through online synchronous simulation of palliative care scenarios, p. 1-8 2022
  • Handbook of Thanatology, 3rd Edition
    Servaty-Seib, H. L., Chapple, H. S. Introduction to Handbook of Thanatology, Third Edition: The Essential Body of Knowledge for the Study of Death, Dying, and Bereavement, p. 1-10 2021
  • Journal of Infusion Nursing
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Placing a Central Vascular Access Device in a Patient with Substance Use Disorder: The Ethical Position of the Infusion Nurse
    44, p. 21-25 2021
  • American Medical Association Journal of Ethics
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Bringing Dying Out of the Hospital's Closet
    22, p. E1026-1066 2020
  • American Medical Association Journal of Ethics
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Five Things Students and Clinicians Should Know about 'Biocontainment'
    22, p. E22-27 2020
  • American Medical Association Journal of Ethics
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Clinical Momentum as One Reason Patients are Underserved in Acute Care Settings.
    20, p. 732-737 2018
  • Journal of Nursing Education
    Minnich, M., Kirkpatrick, A.J., Goodman, J.T., Whittaker, A., Chapple, H. S., Schoening, A. M., Khanna, M. M. Writing Across the Curriculum: Reliability Testing of a Standardized Rubric
    57, p. 366-370 2018
  • American Medical Association Journal of Ethics
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Strategies for Building Trust with the Caregiver of a Patient with End-Stage Dementia
    19, p. 656-662 2017
  • Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
    Helen Stanton Chapple, David Schenck Biocontaining: Purification, Restoration, and Meaning-Making
    60, p. 166-185 2017
  • Death Studies
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Bouton, B. L. Chow, A.Y.W., Gilbert, K.R., Kosminsky, P., Moore. J., Whiting, P. P. The body of knowledge in thanatology: An outline
    41, p. 118-125 2017
  • International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
    Rentmeester, C. A., Chapple, H. S., Haddad, A. M., Stone, J. R. Teaching and Learning Health Justice: Best Practices and Recommendations for Innovation
    28, p. 440-450 2016
  • Social Science and Modern Society
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Rescue: Faith in the Unlimited Future
    52, p. 424-429 2015
  • Advance Care Planning: Communicating about Matters of Life and Death
    Helen S. Chapple, Pettus, K. I. Does the nation's survival depend on a new EOL conversation? In L. Rogne & S. McCune (Eds.), p. 293-308 2013
  • ADEC Forum
    Helen Stanton Chapple, A witness to dying in America's hospitals
    36, p. 1-4 2010


  • American Journal of Nursing
    Hamric, A.B., Schwartz, J.B., Cohen, L. & Mahon, M. Assisted Suicide/Aid in Dying: What is the Nurse's Role? This panel discussion is followed by commentary by Helen S. Chapple and 3 others, chosen from 11 submitted.
    118, p. 50-59 2018

Editing and Reviews

  • Handbook of Thanatology, 3rd Edition
    Heather L. Servaty-Seib, Helen Stanton Chapple Handbook of Thanatology, 3rd Edition, The Essential Body of Knowledge for the Study of Death, Dying, and Bereavement. Recruited authors, edited submitted chapters, submitted manuscript for peer review. Book is overview of the domains of expertise in the field of thanatology. It follows the Body of Knowledge Outline developed by the Association for Death Education and Counseling. The book is 23 chapters plus introduction., p. 1-650 2021
  • Hastings Center Report
    Helen Stanton Chapple, Surrogates, Chaos, and the Inadequacy of Autonomy: a review of 'Speaking for the Dying' by Susan P. Shapiro
    50, p. 46-47 2020


  • International Journal of Ethics Education
    John R. Stone, Chapple, H.S, Haddad, A., Lux, S., Rentmeester, C. A. Discussion in Graduate Online Bioethics Programs
    2, p. 17-36 2016


  • Eviscerating Public Health Norms: Group Status Threat and Social Media Disruptors with Heather Servaty-Seib 2022
  • Invited guest lecturer, Washington University in St. Louis, Hospital Ethnography class, David Ansari, IOR 2021
  • Standing Up in Solidarity to the Terror of Death, 12th Biennial Baylor Scott & White Bereavement Conference, Dallas, TX, October 1 (live but virtual). 2021
  • When Two Profiles Converged and Exploded: Covid in the US 2020 to incoming freshmen at Creighton For and With Others: Day of Service, Welcome Week 2021
  • The Handbook of Thanatology, 3rd Edition: An Update for the Association for Death Education and Counseling 42nd Annual Conference, Columbus OH, virtual, with Heather Servaty-Seib. 2021
  • When Two Low Profiles Converged and Exploded: Covid in the US 2020 for Medicine Grand Rounds, Creighton University 2020
  • Pain Scales Revisited for the 18th Annual Pain Management Conference, Creighton University and CHI Health 2020
  • Dying and the Critical Present as part of invited panel presentation: Carol Carfang Nursing and Healthcare Ethics Conference, Duquesne University, Clearwater, FL, 2020
  • Infusion and the ANA Code of Ethics, Infusion Nursing Society National Academy, San Diego 2019
  • Death Denial as a Refusal of Meaning: Shifting the Burden to Nurses for the Association for Death Education and Counseling 41st Annual Conference, Atlanta. 2019
  • Conversations About God Forbid, for the Nebraska LEAD Program Social Issues Seminar, Omaha 2019