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Dr. Jacob M. Appel

Dr. Jacob M. AppelJacob M. Appel is a physician, attorney, and bioethicist who serves as an attending psychiatrist in the Mount Sinai Healthcare System. He teaches ethics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he is Director of Ethics Education in Psychiatry and a member of the Institutional Review Board. Appel has been a regular ethics columnist for Huffington Post and Opposing Views, and writes a monthly bioethics column for Education Update. A frequent lecturer on bioethical issues, Appel’s essays relating to bioethics have appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other outlets. When not engaged in bioethics, Appel writes fiction: He has published novels, short fiction collections, and prize-winning stories.

About Who Says You’re Dead?: Medical & Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious & Concerned

Who Says You're DeadDrawing upon the author’s two decades teaching medical ethics, as well as his work as a practicing psychiatrist, this profound and addictive little book offers up challenging ethical dilemmas and asks readers, What would you do?

  • A daughter gets tested to see if she’s a match to donate a kidney to her father. The test reveals that she is not the man’s biological daughter. Should the doctor tell the father? Or the daughter?
  • A deaf couple prefers a deaf baby. Should they be allowed to use medical technology to ensure they have a child who can’t hear?
  • Who should get custody of an embryo created through IVF when a couple divorces?
  • Or, when you or a loved one is on life support, Who says you’re dead?

In short, engaging scenarios, Dr. Appel takes on hot-button issues that many of us will confront: genetic screening, sexuality, privacy, doctor-patient confidentiality. He unpacks each hypothetical with a brief reflection drawing from science, philosophy, and history, explaining how others have approached these controversies in real-world cases. Who Says You’re Dead? is designed to defy easy answers and to stimulate thought and even debate among professionals and armchair ethicists alike.