I was originally trained in medicine before going into philosophy, and my most recent book, The Occasional Human Sacrifice: Medical Experimentation and the Price of Saying No, is about whistleblowing in medical research. I am currently working on a book about degradation and indignity.
Much of my recent scholarship has been in two areas. The first area concerns wrongdoing in medicine, especially in the areas of clinical research and pharmaceutical marketing. The second concerns philosophical issues surrounding identity, authenticity and justice as seen through the lens of biomedical technology. I also have longstanding interests in the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the novelist Walker Percy.
I have been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award, a resident fellowship at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy, the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History in the Kluge Center of the U.S. Library of Congress and a Weatherhead Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe. My work has also been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. In addition to my papers in academic journals, I have written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The American Scholar, The New York Times and The New York Review of Books. In 2003-04 I was invited to lead a year-long bioethics seminar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.