Robert N. Swidler, Esq.

V.P./Legal Services,
St. Peter’s Health Partners and

Adjunct Faculty,
The Bioethics Program

medical ethics and public policy
end-of-life decisionmaking
decisionmaking for patients who lack capacity
hospital discharges
home health care
nursing home care
human subject research
stem cell research
privacy
information systems


Robert N. Swidler is V.P. Legal Services for St. Peter's Health Partners, a health care system in New York's Capital Region that includes four hospitals(Albany Memorial Hospital, Samaritan Hospital in Troy, St. Peter's Health Partners Medical Associates,P.C.a large multi specialty physician practice with sites throughout the Capital Region, and "The Eddy" - a network of nursing homes, home care,rehabilitation services, hospice, PACE, independent and supportive housing and other services for seniors.

Previously, Mr. Swidler was counsel to Northeast Health (1988-2011) Counsel to the NYS Office of Mental Health (1992-95); Assistant Counsel to Governor Mario Cuomo (1990-92), and Staff Counsel to the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law (1985-90). While at the Task Force, he helped develop proposals on brain death, do-not-resuscitate orders, health care proxies, organ transplantation and surrogate parenting arrangements that were later adopted as state legislation or regulations,

Mr. Swidler currently is Editor of the NYS Bar Association Health Law Journal, and the Governor’s appointee to the NYS Taskforce on Life and the Law. He is also the current chair of the legal committees of the Health Information eXchange of New York (HIXNY).

Mr. Swidler has written numerous articles on health law topics, and co-authored two chapters in Legal Manual for New York Physicians (NYS Bar Assn / Medical Society State NY 2005 edition): Chapter 21, Informed Consent and Decisions for Patients Who Lack Capacity" and Chapter 22, Life-Sustaining Treatment Decisions." Most recently he wrote "Strange Questions for the Home Health Agency Attorney, NYS Bar Assn Health Law J. 13: 41-48 (Spring 2008) and co-authored, "Difficult Hospital Inpatient Discharge Decisions: Ethical, Legal and Clinical Practice Issues," Am. J. Bioethics, 7(3):23-28, 2007.

Mr. Swidler is a graduate of Columbia Law School ('82), SUNY Binghamton (BA '77, MA '78) and Stuyvesant High School ('72).


Curriculum Vitae >

Recent Publications


R. Swidler, "Strange Questions for the Home Health Agency Attorney, NYS Bar Assn Health Law J. 13: 41-48 (Spring 2008). 

J. Jankowski, T. Seatrum, R. Swidler, W. Shelton, "For Lack of A Better Plan: A Frameowrk for Ethical, Legal and Clinical Challenges in Complex Inpatient Discharge Planning, " HEC Forum (Oct. 2009)

R. Swidler, A. Barreiro, J. Horwitz, J. Fouassier, R. Goldberg, M Massett, P. O’Brien, "A Conversation About Difficult Inpatient Discharge Decisions," NYS Bar Assn Health Law J. 14: 108-125 (Fall 2009).

A. Ouellette, T. Quill, R. Swidler. T. Pope, N. Dubler, A Coversation About end of Life Decisionmaking, NYS Bar Assn Health Law J. 14: 91-107 (Fall 2009).

R. Swidler, "When a Patient’s Prior Decision to Forgo Treatment Conflicts with a Family’s Current Insistence that Treatment be Provided," 10 NYS Bar Assn Health Law Journal, p.75 (Summer/Fall 2005).

Burke, A. Herb and R.Swidler, "Three Stubborn Misconceptions About the Authority of Health Care Agents," 10 NYS Bar Assn Health Law Journal, p.63 (Summer/Fall 2005).

  Swidler and N. Daratsos, "Ch. 21: Informed Consent and Decisions for Patients Who Lack Capacity," in R. Abrams and D. Moy, eds., Legal Manual for New York Physicians (NYS Bar Assn / Medical Society State NY 2005 edition).

Wild, R. Swidler, E. Koopersmith, B. Knothe and N. Daratsos, Ch. 22: Life Sustaining Treatment Decisions," in R. Abrams and D. Moy, eds., Legal Manual for New York Physicians (NYS Bar Assn / Medical Society State of NY 2005 edition).

Abrams, P. Rosenberg and R. Swidler, "Penalizing Health Care Providers: Enforcement or Exploitation?," 7 NYS Bar Assn Health Law Journal, p.5 (Winter 2002).

  Swidler, "Messages from the Chair" (Collected Columns), 5 NYS Bar Assn Health Law Journal (1999-2000).

  Swidler, "Harsh State Rule on End-of-Life Care Remains in Need of Reform," NY Law Journal, Jan. 26, 2000, p. S-4.

  Swidler, J. Horwitz and D. Walker, "The Role of Hospital Counsel in End-of-Life Treatment Decisions: A Review of the United Hospital Fund / Milbank Report," 4 NYS Bar Assn Health Law Journal, p.18 (Summer/Fall 1999).

  Swidler, "Human Cloning: Legal Issues," NYS Bar Assn Health Law Journal (Fall 1998)

  Swidler, "Special Needs Plans: Adapting Medicaid Managed Care for Persons with Serious Mental Illness or HIV/AIDs, 61 Albany Law Review 1113 (1998)

· R. Swidler, "Health Care: Dramatic Changes in State's Role in Sight," Syracuse Business, January 1996, p.12.

  Swidler, "Charting the Progress of Pataki's Health Reforms," NYS Medical News, Third Quarter 1995, p.1

  Swidler, "'Blue Cross' and New York's Hospital Reimbursement System," NY Law Journal, June 27, 1995, p.1.

  Swidler and J. Tauriello, "New York's Community Mental Health Reinvestment Act," Psychiatric Affairs, May 1995, pp. 496-500.

  Swidler, "Medical Innovations and Ethics: A State Government Perspective," 57 Albany Law Review 655 (Spring 1994).

· R. Swidler, "Judging Medicine," NYS Journal of Medicine, July 1989, pp. 427-429.

Miller and R. Swidler, "In Support of the Surrogate Parenting Act," NY Law Journal, April 28, 1989, p. 1.

Miller and R. Swidler, "Legislative Initiatives on Life-Sustaining Treatment: The Do-Not-Resuscitate Law and the Health Care Proxy Proposal," NYS Bar Journal, February 1989, pp. 30-35.

 Swidler, "The Presumption of Consent in New York State's Do-Not-Resuscitate Law," NYS Journal of Medicine, Feb. 1989,
 pp. 69-72 (Lawrence D. Redway Award for Medical Writing, Medical Society of the State of New York, 1990).

 Swidler, "The Health Care Agent: Protecting the Choices and Interests of Patients Who Lack Capacity," NY Law School Journal of Human Rights, Fall 1988, pp. 1-61. 



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