Introducing Art Caplan

We’re excited to introduce and welcome Art Caplan to our blogging community.  He will be cross-posting some of his commentary written for other media outlets here, and providing original content to Bill of Health on occasion.  Follow him on Twitter @ArthurCaplan.

Art is the Director of the Division of Medical Ethics in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center; until January 2012, he had been the director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics, and he chaired Penn’s Department of Medical Ethics from 2002-2009.  Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania in 1994, Art taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia University. He was the associate director of the Hastings Center from 1984 through 1987. Art completed his undergraduate work at Brandeis University and his graduate work at Columbia University, where he received a PhD in the history and philosophy of science in 1979.

Art is a fellow of the Hastings Center, the New York Academy of Medicine, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the American College of Legal Medicine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the board of directors of The Franklin Institute and the Iron Disorders Foundation, the National Hemophilia Foundation’s Ethics Committee, and the Board of Visitors of the Columbia University School of Nursing. He has chaired a number of national and international committees including the National Cancer Institute Biobanking Ethics Working Group, the Advisory Committee to the United Nations on Human Cloning, and the Advisory Committee to the Department of Health and Human Services on Blood Safety and Availability. He has also served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses, the special advisory committee to the International Olympic Committee on genetics and gene therapy, the ethics committee of the American Society of Gene Therapy, and the special advisory panel to the National Institutes of Mental Health on human experimentation on vulnerable subjects. Recently he served as the co-director of the Joint Council of Europe/United Nations Study on Trafficking in Organs and Body Parts and is currently the ethics advisor to the Department of Defense (DOD)/Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on synthetic biology.

The author or editor of 30 books and more than 550 papers in peer-reviewed journals, Art also brings his expertise to popular audiences through a regular column on bioethics for, monthly articles on bioethics and healthcare issues for WebMD/Medscape, and frequent appearances on other national and international media outlets.  He will be cross-posting many of these commentaries here.

Some of Art’s representative work can be found here.

Welcome, Art!


0 thoughts to “Introducing Art Caplan”

  1. RE: Arthur Caplan’s recent article on Medscape: “Patients Have the Right to Choose Death From Bedsores”

    Sometimes when I read discussions like this, I can’t help feeling the presence of a very large, quite miserable elephant in the room. Indeed, it must be the largest elephant in the field of bioethics today.

    Are we unable to admit that in some cases, even with well-meaning significant others, discharge planners, etc., a person may reach a point where the pieces of his or her life puzzle just will not fit together in a way that is satisfactory to that person?

    Dying of bedsores does not seem as if it would be a particularly comfortable death for anyone involved in the process. And returning home to an isolated environment where care could not be provided to relieve pain and suffering might be equally difficult for all concerned, especially for the person who is dying. I wonder if this person had the option of choosing for himself a compassionate, painless and merciful euthanasia, if he would have made the decision that he did. Or if a society, that in this day and age is still quite steadfastly against making such an option available to an individual, would be so horribly traumatized or damaged if this person had made a decision for a supported, peaceful end to his life?

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