Ruth L. Fischbach, PhD, MPE
Ruth L. Fischbach is Professor of Bioethics and Director and Co-founder of the Center for Bioethics. She is a faculty member both in the Department of Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Prior to arriving at Columbia, Dr. Fischbach served from 1998 to 2001 as Senior Advisor for Biomedical Ethics in the Office of the Director of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health. Here she participated in many federal interagency committees designed to protect the rights and welfare of research participants.
While at the NIH, she produced Bioethics Resources on the Web, a useful Web site resource for the research community and two guidance documents: Protection of Participants in Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and Research Involving Individuals with Questionable Capacity to Consent: Points to Consider. She received an NIH Award of Merit for her efforts in establishing the Tuskegee Center for Bioethics. Preceding her service at the NIH, Dr. Fischbach was a bioethicist/ medical sociologist at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Social Medicine and the Division of Medical Ethics from1990 -1998. She was Director of the Program in the Practice of Scientific Investigation. At Washington University from 1983 - 1990, as an Assistant Dean, she headed the Ethics Program and founded the Humanities in Medicine Program.
Her research interests and scholarly publications have focused on decisions around the end of life, autonomy of the elderly, communication between patients and healthcare professionals, pain assessment and management, and the experiences of research participants, particularly as they relate to privacy and informed consent.
Her current work focuses on research ethics and contemporary issues in bioethics including: neuroethics, stem cell research, and advances in assisted reproductive technology.
At Columbia, Dr. Fischbach is a member of the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) Institutional Review Board (IRB), the CUMC Ethics Committee, the Children's Hospital of New York (CHONY) Ethics Committee, the University Stem Cell Consortium, the University’s Stem Cell Oversight Committee, the Ethics, Policy, and Human Rights Core of the HIV Center at Columbia and the NY State Psychiatric Institute, and the Advisory Board for the Center for the Study of Science and Religion. Beyond Columbia, Dr. Fischbach serves on the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Medical and Professional Advisory Council and Gold Foundation Honor Society, and the Population Council IRB. Dr. Fischbach is a member of the Board of Directors of PRIM&R (Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research) and the Morris Jumel Mansion in historic Washington Heights.
Recent publications include:
Fischbach RL. Conflicts of interest and the conduct of clinical research. SOCRA Source 2001; 28:13-16.
Fischbach RL. Conflicts of interest and threats to the conduct of clinical research. SOCRA Source 2003; 37:16-19.
Fischbach RL, Korn D: Whether to present grave information in the face of uncertainty. Bioethics Across Borders. American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Oct. 22-26, 2003. pp. 103-105 (abstract).
Fischbach GD, Fischbach RL. Stem cells: science, policy, and ethics. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2004 Nov; 114(10):1364-1370.
Morris MC, Nelson RO, Fischbach RL. An innovative approach to exception from informed consent for pediatric resuscitation research. Poster presentation. American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. 2004.
Fischbach RL. Overview: Loneliness in the context of illness. The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. Accessed on the Web at http://info.med.yale.edu/intmed/hummed/yjhm/spirit2004/loneliness/rfischbach.htm on March 15, 2005.
Fischbach RL, Fischbach GD. The brain doesn’t lie. American Journal of Bioethics. 2005; 5(2): 54-55.
Di Tillio-Gonzalez D, Fischbach RL. Harmonizing regulations for biomedical research: A critical analysis of the U.S. and Venezuelan systems. Developing World Bioethics. 2006 Oct 13. ISSN 1471-8731 (print); 1471-8847 (online).
Morris MC, Fischbach RL, Nelson RM, Schleien CL, A paradigm for inpatient resuscitation research with an exception from informed consent. Critical Care Medicine. 2006 Oct: 34(10): 2567-2575.
Morris MC., Besner D, Vazquez H, Nelson RM, Fischbach RL. Parental Opinions about Clinical Research. Journal of Pediatrics. 2007 Nov; 151(5): 532-7. 537.el-5. Epub 2007 Aug 23.
Fischbach, RL. Clinical Bioethics: Bringing Resolution to Conflict in Patient Care. P&S. 2007;27:48.
Fischbach RL and Valentine MA:
Depression and Domestic Violence. In: Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence. New York: Routledge, 2007:238-240.
Fischbach RL, Valentine MA: Cross-cultural perspectives in Domestic Violence. In: Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence. New York: Routledge, 2007:216-219.
Fischbach RL, Fischbach GD. Neuroethicists Needed Now More Than Ever.
American Journal of Bioethics
. Jan-Feb 2008;8(1):1-3
Simon J., Fischbach, RL. “Doctor, Will you turn off my LVAD?”. The Hastings Center Report. Jan-Feb 2008. 38 (1):14-15.
Fischbach RL, Loike JD. End of Life Issues from a Jewish Perspective. The Jewish Press. June 25, 2008
Fischbach RL, Loike JD. Postmortem fatherhood: Life after life. The Lancet. July 28, 2008. 371:3-5.
Loike JD, Fischbach RL: Frontiers in Bioethics (submitted for publication)
Di Tillio-Gonzalez D, Fischbach RL. The Informed Consent Form in Developing Countries (In Preparation)
Oquendo MA, Feldman S, Silverman E, Brown G, Chen D, Chiapella P, Fischbach RL, Gould M, Stanley B, Strauss D, Zelazny J, Pearson J. Inconsistencies in the Definitions of Adverse Events: A recipe for confusion in evaluating the safety of intervention trials for suicidal individuals (In Preparation).
Woo JA, Fischbach RL. Physician Participation in Judicial Execution by Lethal Injection and State Medical Board Positions. (submitted for publication)
Web-based Distance Learning Courses:
Conflicts of Interest. Ruth L. Fischbach with Joyce Plaza, April 13, 2005. Accessed on the Web at http://www.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/rcr/rcr_conflicts/ Supported by funding from the NIH T15 award and the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), HHS
Privacy and Confidentiality in Research. Ruth L. Fischbach with Joyce Plaza, 2006. Accessed at http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/cire/pac/ Supported by funding from the NIH T15 award and the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), HHS
Neuroethics: Implications of Advances in Neuroscience. Ruth L. Fischbach with Dina J. Feivelson, Gerald D. Fischbach, Emily Gilmore, Elizabeth Haberfeld, Justine Seidenfeld, 2008. Accessed on the web at http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/neuroethics/index.html Funded by the Dana Foundation.
Fischbach RL. New York Times, Letter to the Editor: “I have bad news.” January 17, 2006.
Simon J., Fischbach, RL. Letter to the Editor in Response to “Doctor, Will you turn
off my LVAD?” The Hastings Center Report. May-June 2008. 38 (1): 3-4.
Fischbach RL, as quoted in “Coming Soon to YouTube: My Face-Life”, The New York Times. June 26, 2008.