Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD, M.Bioethics



Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD, M.Bioethics

Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Medical Ethics and Health Policy

Dr. Halpern is the founding director of the Palliative and Advanced Illness Research (PAIR) Center, founding director of the Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science (FIELDS) program,  a member of the Steering Committee of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economic (CHIBE), and a practicing critical care medicine doctor. By blending ethical analyses and empirical research, Dr. Halpern's work promotes the ideals of fairness and value in how scarce healthcare resources, including transplantable organs, ICU beds and services, and clinicians’ time are allocated to seriously ill patients. The PAIR Center conducts large, pragmatic randomized trials of interventions that seek to improve the lives of all people affected by serious illness.The FIELDS program includes scholars from multiple health-related disciplines who use principles of behavioral economics in an effort to understand and improve upon the healthcare decisions made by seriously ill patients and their family members and clinicians. Finally, his work through the CHIBE develops behavioral economic interventions that motivate smoking cessation, research participation, and reductions in the use of low-value healthcare services, without unduly constraining autonomous choice.

Dr. Halpern’s research is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by a number of foundations. He has received the United States’ most prestigious awards for young academics in two different disciplines: the Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar Award (2008) in bioethics, and AcademyHealth’s Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award (2011) in health services research. In 2012, Dr. Halpern was one of 10 recipients of the Young Leader Award as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 40th Anniversary, recognizing people aged 40 or under who offer “great promise for leading the way to improved health and health care for all Americans.” He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and a member of the editorial boards of the Annals of Internal Medicine and the American Journal of Bioethics. From 2013 – 2015 he was an anniversary fellow at the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Halpern has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and roughly 50 editorials, reviews and chapters. His research has been featured in every major American media outlet, and he has consulted on ethical and scientific matters for the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control, the United Network for Organ Sharing, The World Bank, and two Advisory Committees to the U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services.

Content Area Specialties

End-of-life care, critical care epidemiology, organ transplantation, randomized trial design

Methodology Specialties

Clinical trials, clustered data, health-services research

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