Jodi Halpern

Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, School of Public Health and the Joint Medical Program
University of California, Berkeley
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies
Degrees Ph.D. Philosophy :: Yale University (2003)
M.D. :: Yale School of Medicine (1989)

Jodi Halpern uses philosophical methods to analyze concepts at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. She has focused on complex interpersonal barriers to genuine empathy in her book From Detached Concern to Empathy: Humanizing Medical Practice (Oxford University Press, New York, 2001) and in more recent papers, including a paper on social reconciliation after mass trauma. She is currently engaged in a fundamental critique of existing models of health decision-making that presume that people can predict their future emotional states under varying health conditions. For example, recent papers in this area focus on how bioethical ideals of autonomy fail to take into account how emotions like fear influence critical medical decisions. Halpern is completing a book on the role of self-empathy in living well in the wake of illness and disability and beginning work with veterans on their emotional experiences on returning to their families after war.

last updated: March 26th, 2018