Bioethics Center Scholars
Nancy Berlinger is Deputy Director and Research Scholar at The Hastings Center. Her research interests focus on clinical ethics and include: end of life care; ethics in health care chaplaincy; ethics in cancer care; conscientious objection and moral distress in health care; patient safety and the resolution of medical harm; and ethics education for pandemic planners. Broader interests include narrative ethics and medical humanities. Currently, she directs a research project that is revising the influential Hastings Center guidelines on end-of-life care. This project is funded by the Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation and the Albert Sussman Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust. She recently completed a research project, funded by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, which examined how professional chaplains define “quality” within their own practice and profession, and how these definitions correspond to how chaplaincy is represented in the health care “QI” movement and in efforts to advance patient-centered care. Berlinger is the author of After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness and is currently developing a project on cancer “survivorship” and the future of cancer care. She is a graduate of Smith College and holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Glasgow and the M.Div. in Christian Ethics from Union Theological Seminary.
Erika Blacksher is a Research Scholar at The Hastings Center, having previously spent two years as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Columbia University. Her research agenda examines the ethical and policy implications of the social determinants of health and the well-documented and widening social inequalities in U.S. population health. She is particularly interested in questions related to health system reform, children’s health inequalities and the developmental origins of health, theories of health justice, and the ethics and politics of health promotion. In addition to her work in normative ethics, Dr. Blacksher has developed a line of empirical inquiry to identify the public’s values and priorities as they relate to social inequalities in health. She has published in leading bioethics journals on topics that include disparities in health and health care, healthy behavior policies, and children’s health inequalities, among other topics. She holds a PhD in bioethics from the University of Virginia and undergraduate degrees in both philosophy and journalism from the University of Kansas.
Thomas P. Duffy is Professor of Internal Medicine (Hematology), Yale School of Medicine. His interests in medical ethics center on the doctor-patient relationship and its hierarchy of moral principles. His specific focus is on the tensions between opposing or non-complementary principles (truth-telling/hope; autonomy/paternalism) in the physician’s life. This tension represents the focus of the art of the practice of medicine. His practical interest in ethics surrounds courses in clinical ethics for medical residents and medical students -- material that evolves out of the problem cases that constitute their clinical experience. He is a member of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Ethics Committee, participating in ethics consultations and helping to develop position papers in medical endd of life ethics. He is also the chairperson of the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics “End-of-Life Issues” study group.
Willis Jenkins is the Margaret Farley Assistant Professor of Social Ethics, Yale Divinity School whose secondary appointment is to the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His research in the ethics of sustainability develops from personal background with a family farm and involvement in international Christian community development programs. His first book describes how environmental issues become morally intelligible for Christian traditions: Ecologies of Grace: Environmental Ethics and Christian Theology (Oxford, 2008). A second book is in the works on sustainability as an integrating economic, political, and environmental concept. Before coming to Yale in Fall 2006, he worked in the contested international arena of “sustainable development,” and remains interested in sustainability as an international contest and as a practical arena of ethics. He received his Ph.D from the University of Virginia, where for two years he was also the Sara Shallenberger Brown Fellow in Environmental Literature. While there, he participated in the development UVA’s Interdisciplinary Environmental Thought & Practice major and taught at the School of Law. At Yale University, he presently teaches courses in environmental ethics and global ethics, which are are co-listed at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He also teach courses in Christian social ethics.
Bruce Jennings is Director of the Center for Humans and Nature (CHN) and Lecturer at the Yale School of Public Health. The Center for Humans and Nature is a private operating foundation with offices in New York City and Chicago. CHN works on conservation and environmental policy and ethics, public health, and environmental planning issues. He moved to CHN from The Hastings Center where he worked for twenty-five years, serving as Executive Vice President from 1991–1999. Currently his research and writing focus on philosophical, ethical, and policy questions that arise at the intersection of public health, the environmental/ecological sciences, and democratic theory and practice. He has directed several research projects on the care of the dying, health policy, chronic illness and long-term care, and ethical issues in human genetics. He is also active in the area of educational and curriculum development, having co-developed three major curricula: The Decisions Near the End-of-Life Program (Education Development Center, 1989–96); New Choices, New Responsibilities: Ethical Issues in the Life Sciences (The Hastings Center, 1990–1996) and Ethics and Public Health: Model Curriculum (Association of Schools of Public Health, 2003). He has authored many books and articles and is currently working on a book tentatively titled Minding: An Essay on Dementia, Caring, and the Human Good. He is a member of the “Disability and Bioethics” and “Public Health Ethics” study groups of the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics.
Josephine Johnston is a New Zealand-trained lawyer with a MA in Bioethics and Health Law from the University of Otago. She joined the staff of the Hastings Center in August of 2003 as a Research Scholar. At the Center, Ms. Johnston’s research currently focuses on the controversies over the use of psychotropic drugs and children and the debates over the meaning of neuroimages. She has written about the potential for patents to act as barriers to access essential medicines and biological materials, ethical issues arising in the management of financial conflicts of interest in biomedical research, stem cell research, and assisted reproduction. She is also Director of Research Operations at the Center and manages their visiting scholar and intern programs. Before coming to the Hastings Center, Ms. Johnston worked on ethical and legal issues in gene therapy and stem cell research at Dalhousie University's department of bioethics in Halifax, Canada. She also spent a year as the research assistant for the NIH grant "Ethnicity, Citizenship, Family: Identity after the Human Genome Project" at the University of Minnesota's Center for Bioethics. Before undertaking her Master's work, she practiced law in both New Zealand and Germany.
Gregory E. Kaebnick is a Research Scholar at The Hastings Center, as well as the Director of the Editorial Department and editor of the Hastings Center Report and Bioethics Forum. He is interested in the kinds of values that figure in thinking about new biotechnology and particularly in the way people think about nature and human nature. This work has evolved out of earlier work on the nature and status of moral values and the structure of moral deliberation. Dr. Kaebnick is currently leading The Hastings Center research project titled “The Ideal of Nature: Appeals to Nature in Debates about Biotechnology and the Environment.” In “Genetic Ties and the Future of the Family,” he explored the ramifications of genetic paternity testing for the parent-child relationship. In the recently concluded “Crafting Tools for Public Conversation about Behavioral Genetics,” he addressed the implications of behavioral genetics for human freedom. He received his PhD (1998) and MS (1994) in philosophy from the University of Minnesota and his BA in religion from Swarthmore College.
Bonnie Kaplan is a Lecturer at the Yale Center for Medical Informatics, (School of Medicine), the Ethics, Politics, & Economics undergraduate program, and Yale College. She has been active in medical informatics since working on her doctorate in the history of science while also writing clinical computer applications at academic medical centers. It is during that time that she began to study people’s reactions to computer information technology. When consulting for universities, government agencies, and industry, she focuses on ways that information technology in health care relates to social, organizational, professional, and personal norms, goals, values, and identities. All involve interesting ethical issues. In looking at how people react to and interact with information technologies, and why they do so, she faces both the ethics of her own research and the implications of common practices in medicine and medical informatics. She has published and given keynote conference talks and colloquia on: ethical and social concerns pertaining to new home care automated systems; assistive interactive robotics, such as when robots are developed to help care for stroke patients at home; longitudinal electronic health records; and other telehealth and telemedicine technologies. She is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics and has chaired the International Medical Informatics Association’s Working Group on Organizational and Social Issues for many years. She is currently chair of both the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Working Group and the People and Organizational Issues Working Group of the American Medical Informatics Association. She continues to teach both on-line and face-to-face as Clinical Professor of Biomedical and Health Information Sciences at the University of Illinois/Chicago and experiences first-hand ways in which on-line teaching is different from in-person teaching.
Susan Kopp is Professor of Health Sciences in the Veterinary Technology Program at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), where she teaches companion animal nursing, pharmacology, ethics, and a class on animal shelters . She holds a BS in biochemistry from Virginia Tech, a doctor of veterinary medicine from Purdue University, and completed course work in religious studies at the Instituto Internazionale Mystici Corporis in Loppiano, Italy. Her clinical interests focused on shelter medicine and later, as chief veterinarian for the New York City animal shelter system, in related fields of veterinary public health and the human-animal bond. At LaGuardia since 2000 and director of the veterinary technology program from 2002 to 2007, Susan is a recipient of the New York State Humane Association Award for Exemplary Veterinary Service. She lectured nationally on shelter medical care and, more recently, presented at Association of Veterinary Technician Educators’ national conferences on student disability issues and enhancement of student learning. She is beginning scholarly work on the interdisciplinary implications of recent findings on animal pain and is interested in the relationship between religion and animals. As co-convener of the Center’s Animal Ethics study group, she feels that greater emphasis on the interconnectedness of humans, non-human animals, and nature can have profoundly positive effects on societal views towards all living beings and on the ecological crisis facing today’s world. Susan is a 2004 recipient of the Eileen Egan Award for outstanding journalism, and contributes regularly to the magazine of the Focolare Movement, Living City.
Julius Landwirth served as Associate Director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics from 2002-2010. His interest in applied clinical ethics was sparked by his early experience as co-director of a then unique multi-disciplinary clinic for children with multiple congenital malformations at Yale in the mid 1960’s. As Director of the Department of Pediatrics at Bridgeport Hospital in the 1970’s (where he laid the foundation for the current Yale affiliation), he inaugurated a monthly hospital-wide session on medical ethics with Jay Katz. Later on, while serving as Director of Pediatrics at Hartford Hospital and associate chair of the academic department at UConn, he founded, and for 15 years chaired, the hospital ethics committee. Following “retirement” in 1996 he worked in the international arena under contract with the Open Society Institute organizing public health education programs in the 15 countries of the former Soviet Union, taking the opportunity to open up exploration of previously taboo issues in health care ethics. While at the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, his areas of interest have been research ethics and public health ethics. As chair of the Public Health Ethics working group, he forged a collaboration with the Yale Center for Public Health Preparedness and the Connecticut Department of Public Health to assist in the development of guidelines for altered standards of care during public health emergencies. That group has recently embarked on a study of ethical aspects of planning for community resiliency to the effects of climate change on public health.
W. Scott Long is Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Medicine, Yale University; Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Nursing, Yale University; and a Staff Physician with the Connecticut Hospice. Dr. Long feels that part of a physician’s work is to help patients comprehend their changing circumstances, and bioethics becomes a palpable part of daily life. Patients understand themselves first and sometimes only as individuals, whereas their caregivers see them both as individuals and as members of two populations. The first population consists of patients with the same diagnosis; the second is the population of patients whose care is managed by a large institution (e.g. hospital) or health care system (e.g. Medicare). Through knowledge, experience, and empathy, the involved clinical caregivers must be able to enlarge patients and families’ understandings of their situations in order to arrive at informed decisions about a patient’s cares and concerns. A physician must also be able to represent the institution and system to the patient -- and vice versa. At work in a hospice inpatient unit, he shares the task of caring for patients and families with other members of an interdisciplinary team. The issues of advance directives and other forms of shared decision-making are part of daily concerns as patients decline and their families adjust to impending loss. He is often involved in explaining to patients and families why some clinical decisions may have been made in hospice or in other settings. Sometimes he needs to explain medical decisions to other members of the interdisciplinary team as well as convince them that their input has been considered carefully. It is a life made rich by sharing, sometimes trying, and almost always a rewarding experience. The opportunity to discuss these issues with others involved in healthcare, both those giving and those receiving care, has made participation in the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics an important part of his work.
Joel Marks is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of New Haven and a Bioethics Center Scholar at Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, where he founded and is currently co-convener of the Animal Ethics Group. His interest in bioethics stems from his work in philosophical ethics, mainly at the theoretical level. The issue that has intrigued him for most of his career is consequentialism: What role, if any, do the consequences of our actions (and attitudes and character) play in deciding what we should do, how we should live, the sort of person we should be? He has been firmly on the side of the so-called non-consequentialists, who hold that our moral focus should be on something other than consequences and who commonly take Immanuel Kant as their lodestar. Marks has, however, extended moral regard beyond Kant’s concern with only rational beings to encompass all sentient and perhaps even all living beings, and counts caring and respect as components of moral regard. His book, Ought Implies Kant: A Reply to the Consequentialist Critique, expands on these ideas. But more recently, Marks has begun to question whether morality is even a sensible approach to take to practical questions, exploring instead the advantages of an ethics of desire. His latest book, Ethics without Morals, examines this prospect. In addition to theoretical issues, Marks has been drawn to various practical issues for their own sake, with the exploitation or disregard of nonhuman animals by humans his current main focus. Consistent therefore with these broader concerns, Marks has authored, besides his books and journal articles, scores of op-eds for The New Haven Register and other newspapers, and is the regular ethics columnist for Philosophy Now magazine.
Karen J. Maschke has a PhD in political science from Johns Hopkins University and an MA in bioethics from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to her work in bioethics, she taught political science and criminal justice at Oakland University in Michigan and the University of Georgia. Dr. Maschke has published in a variety of areas, including research ethics, legal and constitutional policy, and criminal justice. She has worked with physicians at Weill Cornell Medical College to develop research ethics capacity in Haiti and taught a research ethics course to graduate students at Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince. She is a member of The Data Sharing and Intellectual Capital work space (DSIC) of the National Cancer Institute’s cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG™), which is developing policies and guidelines for researchers and institutional review boards regarding access controls to cancer research data. She also works on an NIH-funded project that examines the legal, ethical, and social implications of using drug addiction genetic information in criminal justice settings and on a European Commission-funded project that will develop a platform to promote and support international dialogue on privacy and ethics of biometrics and personal detection technologies.
Thomas H. Murray is President of The Hastings Center. Dr. Murray was formerly the director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was also the Susan E. Watson Professor of Bioethics. He is a founding editor of the journal Medical Humanities Review, and is on the editorial boards of The Hastings Center Report; Human Gene Therapy; Politics and the Life Sciences; Cloning, Science, and Policy; Medscape General Medicine; Teaching Ethics; Journal of Bioethical Inquiry and the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. He served as president of the Society for Health and Human Values and of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Dr. Murray has testified before many Congressional committees, and is the author of more than 200 publications. His most recent books are: The Worth of a Child; Healthcare Ethics and Human Values: An Introductory Text with Readings and Case Studies, edited with Bill Fulford and Donna Dickenson; The Cultures of Caregiving: Conflict and Common Ground among Families, Health Professionals and Policy Makers, edited with Carol Levine; and Genetic Ties and the Family: The Impact of Paternity Testing on Parents and Children, edited with Mark A. Rothstein, Gregory E. Kaebnick and Mary Anderlik Majumder. He is also editor, with Maxwell J. Mehlman, of the Encyclopedia of Ethical, Legal and Policy Issues in Biotechnology. In January 2004 he received an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from Uppsala University.
Erik Parens is a Senior Research Scholar at The Hastings Center. He investigates how new technologies shape us and how emerging science shapes our self-understanding. Currently he is the principal investigator on a project, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, which explores the controversies surrounding the use of psychotropic medications to treat emotional and behavioral disturbances in children. He is also the principal investigator on a project, funded by The Dana Foundation, which investigates the difference between reasonable and unreasonable claims based on neuroimaging technologies (such as fMRI). He has lectured and published widely, and is the first or sole editor of four books: Enhancing Human Traits: Ethical and Social Implications; Prenatal Testing and Disability Rights; Wrestling with Behavioral Genetics: Science, Ethics and Public Conversation; and Surgically Shaping Children: Essays on Technology, Ethics, and the pursuit of Normality. He has served as a consultant to several government and nongovernmental bodies, including the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a visiting professor in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Sarah Lawrence College. Dr. Parens was educated at The University of Chicago, where he received his PhD (1988) and MA (1983) from the Committee on Social Thought, and his BA (1979) from the college.
Pasquale Patrizio is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale School of Medicine and is the director of both the Yale Fertility Center and the Reproductive Endocrinology clinical practice. Dr. Patrizio received his medical training at the Universita’ Studi Napoli Federico II, MD. He completed his residency in ob/gyn-reproductive endocrinology at the Universita’ Studi Napoli Federico II, MD. He went on to complete his residency in andrology-male reproduction at the Universita’ Studi in Pisa, Italy, and his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California. His fellowship, also at the University of California, was focused on reproductive endocrinology and infertility. He received a MA in Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Arthur Caplan. His clinical interests include infertility (female and male), IVF, egg donation and gestational surrogacy, and preservation of fertility in cancer patients. Among his many research interests are whole ovary cryopreservation, egg freezing, genetics of oocytes, isolation and freezing of male germ cells and ethical issues in assisted reproduction. Dr. Patrizio is Board Certified in OB/GYN and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and is an active participant in bioethical discussions both within the Yale School of Medicine and the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics.
Julie Rothstein Rosenbaum is currently Assistant Professor on the faculty of the Primary Care Residency in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, where she sees patients as well as teaches residents and students. She also serves as Director of the Workshop on Professional Responsibility for all medicine interns. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her medical degree from Yale School of Medicine. She completed her residency at New York Hospital-Cornell and returned to Yale as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. Her areas of scholarly focus include end-of-life communication, appropriate relationships between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry, and exploration of factors that hinder and support ethical and professional behavior, including the “hidden curriculum.” She has received grant support from the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation for a multicenter qualitative study exploring how transitions between different medical microsystems provide insights into varied moral environments. Julie serves on the Waterbury Hospital Ethics Committee. She has also published in several peer-reviewed journals, and presented at regional and national meetings. Her essay on personal-professional balance entitled “Duality,” published in Health Affairs, was selected for inclusion in the first of its kind anthology, Best American Medical Writing 2009.
Lois Sadler is an Associate Professor at the Yale School of Nursing and the Yale Child Study Center. She practices as a pediatric nurse practitioner and teaches masters and doctoral nursing students in the areas of family studies, child development, pediatric health promotion, research, and adolescent primary care. Dr. Sadler received her B.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts, her M.S.N. degree from Yale University School of Nursing, and her Ph.D. from the School of Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her research is in the area of the transition to parenthood among urban adolescent mothers and their families, adolescent pregnancy prevention, and evaluation of specialized support programs for adolescent parents. Her publications and presentations are in the area of adolescent primary health care issues, high-risk families and adolescent parenthood. Dr. Sadler has worked clinically with teen parents in New Haven since 1979 and currently teaches parent education classes to middle school and high school student-parents enrolled in the Polly T. McCabe Center in New Haven. Her current research includes studies with teen mothers and a pilot study with colleagues at the Yale Child Study Center and the Fair Haven Community Health Center of a home visitation program, "Minding the Baby," for high risk young families.
Wendell Wallach is a lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. The question that pervades Mr. Wallach’s work at the Center is: how will we navigate the promise, perils, and bioethical challenges posed by new technologies? While much of the discussion regarding the manner in which technological enhancements will transform human identity and community is highly speculative, we are beset by a host of ethical dilemmas arising from the technologies we already have. New technologies not only afford new possibilities as to what we might become, but also facilitate research into who we are and how each of us functions. His work over the past few years has focused on the manner in which the “Information Age” and cognitive science are transforming our understanding of human decision-making and ethics. A radically new vision of human nature is emerging that challenges traditional beliefs systems and the laws and institutions built around those beliefs. A book that he is currently writing, Cybersoul: Moral Intelligence in the Information Age, explores this subject. He has also been active in developing the new field of inquiry known as Machine Ethics, Machine Morality, or Artificial Morality, which explores the prospects for developing artificial agents capable of making moral decisions. The field looks at both the possibility of implementing morality in software agents and artificial entities, and what we will learn about human ethics and decision-making as we go through this exercise. He is co-author of Machine Morality: From Aristotle to Asimov and Beyond, which will be published by MIT Press. In addition to chairing the Center for Bioethics working research group on “Technology and Ethics,” he also leads a seminar for the Bioethics Center Summer Intern Program, coordinates activities for a study group on religious and spiritual issues in bioethics, and is a member of the Center’s “Neuroethics” study group. He is a recognized leader in the new field of Machine Ethics for which he was first to design a course. He has taught the course twice at Yale.