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June 9, 2008


NEW YORK, June 9, 2008 – Dr. Jeffrey Blustein, a nationally recognized expert in the fields of bioethics and moral psychology, has been appointed the first Arthur Zitrin Professor of Bioethics in the Philosophy Department at The City College of New York (CCNY). Dr. Blustein will join CCNY in August from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

The position was established this year through a $1 million endowment from Dr. Arthur Zitrin, ’38, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at New York University and a leading figure in medical ethics. While Professor Blustein will be a member of the Philosophy Department, his research responsibilities will encompass the sciences and engineering as well as philosophy. 

In announcing the appointment, Dr. Gregory H. Williams, President of The City College, noted that Dr. Blustein brings to CCNY cutting-edge scholarship and inquiry into the increasingly important field of bioethics. “Given Professor Blustein’s prolific scholarship and activities promoting moral psychology, clarity around healthcare and medical issues, and social justice, I foresee great potential for The City College to become a nexus of bioethics thought for years to come.”

Dr. Nickolas Pappas, who was Chair of Philosophy when the endowment was received, hailed both Dr. Blustein and Dr. Zitrin for adding this new dimension to the department. “Bioethical issues are both intellectually complex and emotionally loaded, arousing our deepest moral sentiments,” he said. “This is why The City College has been lucky not only to receive an endowment for the Zitrin Chair in Bioethics but then also to bring Jeffrey Blustein to campus as the first Zitrin Professor.”

Professor Pappas noted Dr. Blustein’s reputation at Albert Einstein for writing about such important and sensitive topics as the morality of memory, the values expressed in family life, and the rights and needs of adolescents. “Professor Blustein treats these topics with humanity while bringing impressive learning and rigor to them,” he pointed out. “A scholarly review of his book “Parents and Children” recognizes that learning and rigor when it observes: “no one, before Blustein, seems to have made a systematic effort either to reconstruct the history of philosophical writing on the family or to fit that history into an organized account of the rights and duties of parents and children.” 

About Dr. Jeffrey Blustein

Professor Blustein earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University, where he studied under John Rawls and Robert Nozick. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota. After serving on the faculties of Barnard College and Mercy College, he joined the Albert Einstein faculty in 1992.

Professor Blustein is also the clinical ethicist at Montefiore Medical Center, the university hospital for Einstein College of Medicine. His responsibilities there have included conducting clinical ethics consultations and case conferences, co-chairing the Montefiore Bioethics Committee and evaluating research protocols involving human subjects, as a member of Einstein’s Institutional Review Board. In addition to his clinical work, he has taught bioethics to Einstein medical students and a yearly philosophy course at Barnard on ethics and medicine.

An authority in the field of bioethics, Professor Blustein lectures regularly on controversial topics such as end-of-life decision making, stem cell research, physician-assisted suicide and access to health care. He has numerous publications to his credit on ethics and bioethics in anthologies and prestigious philosophy journals including, “The Journal of Value Inquiry,” “Bioethics,” “The Hastings Center Report,” “Metaphilosophy” and “Journal of Social Philosophy.” 

He has also written three books, the most recent of which, “The Moral Demands of Memory,” was published this year by Cambridge University Press. In addition, he co-authored a book on organizational health care ethics and a handbook for ethics committees.

Professor Blustein is a Fellow of the Hastings Center and the New York Academy of Medicine.

About Dr. Arthur Zitrin ’38

Dr. Zitrin is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and a former Associate Dean at the school. For many years he was also Director of Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Zitrin is a well-known and honored figure in the medical and psychiatric communities and in the field of medical ethics. He was a leader in introducing the teaching of medical ethics at NYU and chaired, from their inception, both the School’s and the hospital’s ethics committees.

A 1938 City College graduate, Dr. Zitrin is a fervent supporter of his alma mater. In addition to the new Zitrin Professorship in Bioethics, he previously established a peer-tutor scholar program. A generous annual gift from the Charlotte and Arthur Zitrin Foundation provides scholarship support for a select group of Charlotte and Zitrin Peer Tutor Scholars to participate in the Student Support Services Program. They serve as tutors and mentors to their peers at the SSSP.

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 14,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.