AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

AMA Journal of Ethics. April 2015, Volume 17, Number 4: 403-406


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About the Contributors

Theme issue: Ethics in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Autism

Theme Issue Editor

Kathleen K. Miller, MD, is a first-year resident in pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She graduated in 2014 from the Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, Iowa, and will be pursuing general pediatrics.


Kay Aitch is an artist who leads workshops entitled “Drawing for Well Being” that explore the relation between creative expression and health.

Thomas Armstrong, PhD, is the executive director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development in Cloverdale, California. He is the author of 15 books, including The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain (Da Capo Press, 2011) and Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life (ASCD, 2012). His books have been translated into 26 languages, and he has lectured on learning and human development themes in 44 states and 25 countries over the past 29 years.

Rebecca Benson, MD, PhD, is the medical director of the Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Program at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the director of the ethics consult service at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. She is passionate about providing support to children and families experiencing serious illness and educating health care professionals about palliative care and ethics.

Stephen Bent, MD, is an associate professor of medicine, psychiatry, and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. His current research focuses on the safety and efficacy of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies in children with autism, clinical trial design including use of the Internet to facilitate research, and systematic reviews of clinical trials.

Jeffrey P. Brosco, MD, PhD, is a professor of clinical pediatrics and associate director of the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and chair of the Pediatric Bioethics Committee at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. Board-certified in pediatrics and developmental-behavioral pediatrics, he completed his tenure as a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Faculty Scholar in 2003 after earning an MD and a PhD in the history of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. With Diane Paul, he co-authored The PKU Paradox: A Short History of a Genetic Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Dr. Brosco’s research includes analysis of the history of health care for children in early twentieth-century Philadelphia, the historical epidemiology of intellectual disability, and the history of newborn screening in the US.

Emily Casanova, PhD, is a developmental, molecular, and cell biologist who studies autism, intellectual disability, epilepsy, and schizophrenia and enjoys photography in her spare time. Emily was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2007.

Nanette Elster, JD, MPH, is a lecturer in the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She has extensive experience in legal, public health, and ethical issues related to women’s and children’s health.

William D. Graf, MD, is professor of pediatrics (neurology) and neurology (child neurology) at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Graf is the chair of the Child Neurology Society (CNS) Ethics Committee and an active member of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Ethics, Law, and Humanities Committee. His clinical and research interests focus on all aspects of brain development.

Robert L. Hendren, DO, is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, the director of child and adolescent psychiatry, and vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. His research and publication interests are in translational clinical pharmacology and nutraceutical and nutritional trials using biomarkers (MRI, measures of inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function, and pharmacogenomics) to enhance resilience in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dien Ho, PhD, is an associate professor of philosophy and healthcare ethics at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University (MCPHS) in Boston. His research interests are reproductive ethics, theories of explanation, pharmaceutics and philosophy, and clinical ethics.

Kevin Hosseini is an artist on the autism spectrum who resides in El Cajon, California. His artwork has been displayed in many galleries and museums, including the Smithsonian Institution.

Annemarie M. Kelly, JD, LLM, serves as counsel as in the Medicaid Third Party Liability Division of the Michigan Department of Community Health in Lansing. She has practiced on behalf of physicians and hospitals in Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa in medical malpractice and contract dispute cases. A staunch advocate for community health issues, Annemarie volunteers for multiple child health services organizations in the greater Chicago and Lansing areas. She received her JD from Drake University and her LLM fellowship degree in health law from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Nili E. Major, MD, is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at the North Shore-LIJ Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York. Her professional interests include resident education in developmental-behavioral pediatrics.

Jill Mullin, MA, MSEd, is a board-certified behavior analyst and the regional coordinator for Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc., in Portland, Maine. She holds a master’s degree in general and special education from Touro College and a master of arts degree in psychology with a concentration in applied behavior analysis from the University of the Pacific. She has worked closely with individuals diagnosed with autism and their families for 15 years.

Jody R. Murph, MD, MS, is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and has secondary appointments in the College of Public Health, the Department of Epidemiology, and the College of Law at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Her interests include vaccine development and controversies, health policy, and the importance of social determinants of health on early child development.

Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD, is a professor and the director of graduate studies in the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. His research interests are in clinical ethics, ethics education, global health, and professionalism and professional ethics.

Catherina Pinnaro, MD, is a pediatric resident at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. She plans to pursue fellowship training in medical genetics. Her research interests include ethical issues associated with clinical exome sequencing and reporting of incidental findings.

Ramita Ravi is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where she is majoring in health and societies with a concentration in public health.

Matthew A. Rysavy is a medical student and PhD candidate in epidemiology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, where he is active in the design and implementation of the evidence-based medicine curriculum. His interests include child health, research methods, and science education.

Noah Schneider is an artist and character designer whose animated films have won several awards.

Alison Singer, MBA, is co-founder and president of the Autism Science Foundation in New York City and serves as a public member of the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), which writes the annual strategic plan to direct federal spending for autism research. She has a 17-year-old daughter with autism and an older brother with autism. She is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Business School.

D.J. Svoboda is a public speaker, artist, and author with three books to his credit: My Imagiville, The Mupperezmo and the Rainbow, and The Inspirations of Imagiville. D.J.’s artwork has been featured in Autism Spectrum, Autism Digest, Autism Perspective, and Australian Parent’s Child, among other publications, and hangs in museums and on the walls of corporations, organizations, and private homes. D.J. has been nominated for the Naturally Autistic ANCA Visual Arts Award and been interviewed on numerous radio and television shows. He is an advocate for the North Carolina Autism Society and has been the keynote speaker at various autism conferences, meetings, and events all over the country.

Mitzi M. Waltz, PhD, is an associate lecturer in autism studies at the Autism Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, in Sheffield, UK, and a senior researcher for Disability Studies in Nederland in Amersfoort and at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands. Her interests are in the history of autism, media and clinical representations of disability, and improving life outcomes for people with autism and their families.