AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. March 2012, Volume 14, Number 3: 292-295.


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About the Contributors

Theme issue: Organ Transplantation

Theme Issue Editor

Alon B. Neidich is a medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and is conducting research in transplant immunology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He obtained a bachelor’s degree with honors in law, letters, and society from the University of Chicago, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow investigating informed consent and women’s attitudes towards obstetric and pediatric biobanks. His work has been published in the American Journal of Transplantation, Progress in Transplantation, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, the Journal of Medical Ethics, and The New Physician. He plans to pursue a career that combines his interests in clinical medicine and public policy.


Mohamed Elhassan Akoad, MD, is an assistant professor of surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and a senior staff surgeon in the Department of Transplantation at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts. His focus is liver and kidney transplants from both living and deceased donors. His research interests include outcome measures in living-donor liver transplantation.

Valarie Blake, JD, MA, is a senior research associate for the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs in Chicago. Ms. Blake completed the Cleveland Fellowship in Advanced Bioethics, received her law degree with a certificate in health law and concentrations in bioethics and global health from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and obtained a masterís degree in bioethics from Case Western Reserve University. Her research focuses on ethical and legal issues in assisted reproductive technology and reproductive tissue transplants, as well as regulatory issues in research ethics.

Katrina A. Bramstedt, PhD, is an associate professor at Bond University School of Medicine in Queensland, Australia, specializing in medical ethics. She also maintains a consult practice encompassing clinical ethics, transplant ethics, and research ethics. Her ethics web sites are and

Jonathan Cooper, JD, is vice president for government affairs at the Greater New York Hospital Association. His extensive experience in health policy includes work in Congress and in health care consulting. He has a BA from Colgate University and a JD from American University Washington College of Law.

Francis L. Delmonico, MD, is a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, medical director of the New England Organ Bank, president-elect of The Transplantation Society, and advisor to the World Health Organization on matters of organ donation and transplantation.

Joseph J. Fins, MD, is the E. William Davis, Jr. MD Professor of Medical Ethics; chief of the Division of Medical Ethics; professor of medicine, professor of public health, and professor of medicine in psychiatry; and an attending physician at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Rockefeller University and a senior attending physician at Rockefeller University Hospital. Dr. Fins is the author of the forthcoming Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics, and the Struggle for Consciousness (Cambridge University Press).

Sander Florman, MD, is the Alfred and Florence Gross Professor of Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the director of the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Richard B. Freeman Jr., MD, is a professor and the William N. and Bessie Allyn Chair of the Department of Surgery at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire. He has performed liver and kidney transplants for more than 20 years and written extensively on the ethics of organ allocation and informed consent in transplantation surgery.

Michele Goodwin, JD, LLM, is the Everett Fraser Professor of Law and professor of medicine and public health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She is the author and editor of four books and more than fifty articles, book chapters, and reviews.

John M. Ham, MD, is a professor of surgery at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, medical director of transplantation at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, and chair of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons ethics committee. Previously, he was director of the living-donor liver transplant program at Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Hamís research interests include clinical studies of immune suppression combination therapy and surgical outcomes in liver cancer in liver transplant recipients.

Douglas W. Hanto, MD, PhD, is the Lewis Thomas Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He is the chief of the Division of Transplantation, clinical director of the Transplant Institute, medical director of the Advanced Vascular Care Center, associate chair of surgery, associate surgeon in chief, and vice chair for faculty development and academic affairs for the Department of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Hanto is also chair of the ethics committee for The Transplantation Society (International), a director of the American Board of Surgery, and a member of the Massachusetts Advisory Council on Organ and Tissue Transplants and Donations.

Benjamin Hippen, MD, is a nephrologist specializing in kidney and kidney-pancreas transplantation at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. His research interests include ethics and public policy issues in organ procurement and transplantation.

Albert R. Jonsen, PhD, is the senior ethics scholar in residence at the California Pacific Medical Center’s Program in Medicine and Human Values in San Francisco, a fellow of the Hastings Center, and an instructor at the University of San Francisco’s Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning. Dr. Jonsen is the author of the principal history of the field of bioethics, The Birth of Bioethics (Oxford), and a broader history of medical ethics, A Short History of Medical Ethics (Oxford), as well as a popular book, Bioethics Beyond the Headlines (Rowman & Littlefield).

Keren Ladin, MSc, is a PhD candidate in health policy at Harvard University and a senior research associate at the Transplant Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She is a predoctoral fellow in aging and health economics at the National Bureau for Economic Research and a doctoral fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at Harvard University. Her research interests include resource allocation for vulnerable populations and moral judgment and decision making in medicine.

John D. Lantos, MD, is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and director of the Children’s Mercy Bioethics Center at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. His latest book, Controversial Bodies, explores ethical and religious issues associated with the public display of plastinated corpses in exhibitions such as Body Worlds. He is a former president of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities.

Christine S. Rizk, JD, handles disability law cases at Harvard Universityís WilmerHale Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Ms. Rizk received her JD from Harvard Law School and her BA from Northwestern University. Her research interests include access to public health care and the intersection of health care and insurance law.

Richard J. Rohrer, MD, is a professor and vice chairman of Tufts University School of Medicineís Department of Surgery and the chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery at Tufts Medical Center. He has performed liver and kidney transplants in Boston for more than 25 years and has had numerous roles with the New England Organ Bank and the United Network for Organ Sharing.

Alvin E. Roth, PhD, is the Gund Professor of Economics and Business Administration in the Department of Economics at Harvard University and the Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His interests are in market design, game theory, and experimental economics.

Kavita Shah, MD, MBE, is an obstetrics and gynecology resident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She concurrently earned her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and her masterís in bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. She serves on the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Ethics. Her research focuses on reproductive ethics, especially HIV-related disparities in obstetrics and infertility treatments.

Sanjiv N. Singh, MD, JD, is the founder and principal of SNS PLC, a boutique corporate and intellectual property law practice in San Francisco. He is also a physician with the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in Palo Alto, California. He completed his residency and served as an attending physician at Stanford University Hospital and Clinics. His research interests include telemedicine and intellectual property.

Bruce C. Vladeck, PhD, is senior advisor to Nexera, a supply chain and management services subsidiary of the Greater New York Hospital Association. From 1993 to 1997, he was an administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS) and served on the HHS ad-hoc panel on allocation of donated organs.

Bradley A. Warady, MD, is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and chief of nephrology and director of dialysis and transplantation at The Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. He is senior editor of the book Pediatric Dialysis.

Carol Panetta Zazula, RN, BSN, CCTN, has worked on Farr 10, the transplant floor of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, for 10 years. She has an associate degree in nursing from Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Northeastern University in Boston and is a certified clinical transplant nurse.