Jeffrey Blustein

Professor of Bioethics

Main Affiliation


Areas of Expertise/Research

  • Bioethics


North Academic Center





Jeffrey Blustein


Jeffrey Blustein received his Ph.D. at Harvard University under the late John Rawls and the late Robert Nozick. He is currently Arthur Zitrin Professor of Bioethics at City College, following many years as a clinical bioethicist at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. His other major area of specialization is the ethics of memory and memorialization, and he has published two books on the subject, The Moral Demands of Memory (Cambridge, 2008), and Forgiveness and Remembrance (Oxford, 2014). The second edition of his popular Handbook for Health Care Ethics Committees, co-authored with Linda Farber Post, is due out from Johns Hopkins Press later this year. 

Prof. Blustein is a fellow of the Hastings Center, the first and probably most prominent bioethics think tank in the U.S. and also a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. He has a particular interest in the ethical writings of the Stoics and Epicureans and those of the British Moralists, including Hobbes, Butler, Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Smith, and Hume.

The credo that guides his work is that philosophy can make its greatest contribution to the study of ethical issues by working with scholars from other disciplines, including law, medicine, sociology, anthropology, and political science.


Selected Publications


Forgiveness and Remembrance: Remembering Wrongdoing in Personal and Public Life (Oxford University Press, 2014).

The Moral Demands of Memory, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2008.

(Claudia Card, Emma Goldman Professor of Philosophy at University of Wisconsin,  says: "This is the book to read on the ethics of memory – individual and collective. An outstanding work – I love this book!")

Handbook for Health Care Ethics Committees, with Linda Farber Post. 2nd edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

(Larry Hultgren, reviewing in the journal Metapsychology, writes of the first edition: "Thick with useful information, this multifaceted handbook relays dispatches from the health care front. The authors have indeed met their goal and provided a needed resource.")

Ethics for Health Care Organizations: Theory, Case Studies and Tools, with L.F.  Post and N. Dubler, United Hospital Fund, 2001.

The Adolescent Alone, with C. Levine and N. Dubler (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Care and Commitment: Taking the Personal Point of View, Oxford University Press, 1991.

Parents and Children: The Ethics of the Family, Oxford University Press, 1982. 


"Doing the Best for One's Child: Satisficing vs. Optimizing Parentalism," Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 2012.

"When Doctors Break the Rules: The Ethics of Physician Noncompliance," Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, vol. 21, no. 2, April 2012: 249-259.

"Human Rights and the Internationalization of Memory," Journal of Social Philosophy, vol. 43, no. 1, Spring 2012: 19-32.

"Forgiveness, Commemoration, and Restorative Justice," Metaphilosophy, vol. 4, no. 4 , July 2010: 582-617.

"Criticizing and Reforming Segregated Facilities for Persons with Disabilities," with A. Asch and D. Wasserman, Bioethical Inquiry, vol. 5, 2008: 157-167.

"Credentialing Ethics Consultants: An Invitation to Collaboration," American Journal of Bioethics, vol. 7, no. 2, 2007: 35-37.

Book chapters

"Multiculturalism and Just Health Care: Taking Pluralism Seriously," in L. Vaughn (ed.) Bioethics: Principles, Issues, and Cases. New York, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 640-652.

"Informed Participation: An Alternative Ethical Process for Including Patients in Quality-Improvement Projects," with N. Dubler, R. Bhalla, D. Bernard, in B. Jennings, M. Bailey, M. Bottrell, J. Lynn (eds.) Health Care Quality Improvement: Ethical and Regulatory Issues. Garrison, N.Y., Hastings Center, 2007, pp. 69-87. 

"Doctoring and Self-Forgiveness," in R. Walker and P. Ivanhoe (eds.) Working Virtue: Virtue Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 2007, pp. 87-111. 

"Integrating Medicine and Family: Toward a Coherent Ethic of Care," in C. Levine, T. Murray (eds.) The Cultures of Caregiving: Conflict and Common Ground among Families, Health Professionals, and Policy Makers. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007, pp. 127-146. 

"Ethical Issues in DNA-Based Paternity Testing," in M. Rothstein, T. Murray, G. Kaebnik, M. Majumder (eds.) Genetic Ties and the Family: The Impact of Paternity Testing on Parents and Children. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005, pp. 34-49. 

On-Line Encyclopedia Entries

"Disability: Definitions, Models, Experiences," "Disability and Justice," with A. Asch, D. Wasserman, and D. Putnam, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2012-2014. Online encyclopedia of philosophy created and maintained by Stanford University.