Abraham P. Schwab, PhD

Philosophy Department,
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort
Wayne and

Adjunct Professor,
The Bioethics Program

Bioethics: Research Ethics, Clinical Decision-Making, and Patient Autonomy
Moral Philosophy
Professional Ethics

A philosopher by designation and degree, my interests have always tended toward the pragmatic. Since my early training in the sciences, I have been interested in the contours of the line between what we have good reason to believe and what we simply don’t know. This has led me to some multi-disciplinary pursuits that have produced some measured successes (cognitive psychology and bioethics, epistemology and medicine) and some unmeasured missteps (economics and bioethics). For the foreseeable future, the master narrative of my research will be the development of a tractable and normative epistemology of medical research and practice.

Recent Publications


2008. Ethical Issues in Clinical Surgery (Associate Editor with Mary McGrath and Donald Risucci) Chicago, Il: American College of Surgeons

2006. Ensuring Fairness in Health Care Coverage Decisions (with Matthew K. Wynia) New York: AMACOM

Articles and Refereed Commentaries
2010. Practice and Protocol Analyses of Cost-Effectiveness: An Inconvenient Distinction. Ethics in Biology, Engineering & Medicine 1 (3): 187-197

2010. Recipe for Overreaching Regulation. American Journal of Bioethics 10 (8): 55-56

2010. Invited Commentary: The Two Dogmas of Empirical Education in Medicine, Social Science and Medicine 70 (11): 1677-1679

2010. The Details are in the Field American Journal of Bioethics 10 (1): 19-21

2009. When Subtle Deception Turns into an Outright Lie American Journal of Bioethics 9 (12): 30-32

2008. Risking the Rewards of Regulation American Journal of Bioethics 8 (11): 9-10

2008. Putting Cognitive Psychology to Work: Improving Decision-Making in the Medical Encounter Social Science & Medicine 67:1861-1869

2008. Epistemic Trust, Epistemic Responsibility and Medical Practice Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33: 302-320

2008. The Realistic Costs and Benefits of Translational Research (with David Satin) American Journal of Bioethics 8 (3): 60-62

Recent Activities

Conference Presentations and Other Talks
Panelist, Surrogate Decision-Making at the End of Life, St. Joseph Hospital, April 15, 2011
Military Ethics, Philosophy Club, IPFW, April 13, 2011

Guest Lecture, The Moral Case for Health Reform, IPFW, April 12, 2011

Ethical Issues in Clinical Decision-Making, St. Joseph Hospital, March 18, 2011
Moderator, Ethics of Genetic Research, ASBH Fall Meeting, October 21-24, 2010

The Moral Basis of Health Care Reform, Brooklyn College Philosophy Society, November 24, 2009

The Sum is Less Than Its Parts: Conflicting Responsibilities in Corporations, Faculty Day, Brooklyn College, May 20, 2009

Translating Epistemic Categories Into Ethical Responsibilities, ASBH and Northwestern University’s Books to Bedside: Translational Work in the Medical Humanities, April 23-25, 2009

Epistemic Humility and Medical Practice: Improving Outputs by Improving Inputs. Mt. Sinai-Oxford Consortium on Bioethics, March 30-April 1, 2009

The Meaning of Translation: Implications of Translational Research for the Future of Medical Research and Clinical Practice, (with David Satin and Susan Fitzpatrick) American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, 10th Annual Meeting, October 23-26, 2008

© Clarkson, Bioethics Program