David Rothman

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David J. Rothman "is Bernard Schoenberg Professor of Social Medicine and Director of the Center for the Study of Society and Medicine at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Professor of History at Columbia University.

"Trained in Social History at Harvard University, he has explored the history and impact of caretaker and custodial institutions, including hospitals, mental hospitals, prisons, and almshouses. His 1971 book, The Discovery of the Asylum, co-winner of the Albert J. Beveridge Prize of the American Historical Association, traced the early history of these institutions; Conscience and Convenience (1980), and the Willowbrook Wars (1984, co-authored with Sheila M. Rothman) brought the story up to the present. In 1987, David Rothman received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from John Jay School of Criminal Justice for his work.

"In 1983, David Rothman joined the Columbia medical school faculty and his recent research has explored the history of health care institutions as well as health policy and practices. In 1991 he published Strangers at the Bedside: A History of How Law and Bioethics Transformed Medical Decision Making. In 1997, he authored, Beginnings Count: The Technological Imperative in American Health Care.

"David Rothman has had a particular interest in ethics, human rights, and medicine. He has written extensively on the ethics of human experimentation; in The New York Review of Books, he has addressed such issues as how AIDS came to infect Romanian orphans, the ethics of research in third world countries, and how trafficking in organs for transplantation has become a world-wide phenomena. He chaired the Bellagio Task Force on the International Traffic in Organs and is now helping to implement its recommendations. His concern for vulnerable populations and segregated spaces has led him to explore the history and policies affecting death in America.

"David Rothman is now particularly concerned with the issues of professional medical ethics. He chairs the advisory board of the Program on Medicine as a Profession, organized under the auspices of the Open Society Institute (the philanthropic arm of George Soros). He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Open Society Institute-New York." [1]

Recent Publications

  • Rothman DJ. Medical Morals: An Exchange. The New York Review of Books 2001;48(4):55-56.
  • Rothman DJ. The Shame of Medical Research. The New York Review of Books 2000;47(19):60-64.
  • Rothman DJ. Medical Professionalism-Focusing on the Real Issues. New England Journal of Medicine 2000;342(17):1284-6.
  • Rothman DJ. The International Organ Traffic. The New York Review of Books 1998;45(5):14-16.
  • Rothman DJ. On Cloning, Ethicists Don't Stand in the Way; Absent Frankenstein. The New York Times Op-Ed, March 17, 1998.
  • Rothman DJ. The Nuremberg Code in Light of Previous Principles and Practices in Human Experimentation. In Trohler U, Reitet-Theil S, eds. Ethics Codes in Medicine: Foundations and Achievements of Codification Since 1947 (Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 1998).

External links