Faculty Listing

George E. Hardart M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. George Hardart is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Bioethics at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Hardart is the Director of the Program in Women and Children’s Bioethics at Columbia University and Director of Pediatric Clinical Ethics in Columbia University’s Center for Bioethics. He serves on the adult and pediatric ethics committees at CUMC, is a past-chair of the Pediatric Ethics Committee and is a pediatric ethics consultant at CUMC. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications in journals including the Journal of Pediatrics, Critical Care Medicine, and the Journal of Clinical Ethics as well as book chapters and reviews. He is a member of the Ethics Committee of the American College of Critical Care Medicine. From 2012 to 2013 Dr. Hardart served on the Pediatric Ventilator Allocation working group of the New York State Task Force for Life and the Law. Board certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Critical Care and Anesthesiology, he attends in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Hardart conducts both theoretical and empirical research on a range of ethical issues including family interests in medical decision-making and ethical issues in organ donation after circulatory determination of death.

Marilyn C. Morris M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Morris is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. She is the Chair of one of the three Columbia University Medical Center IRB Boards and is also the Medical Director of the Clinical Trials Office.

A major focus of Dr. Morris’ work has been the process of informed consent for research in emergency settings. She developed a model for community consultation and public disclosure for inpatient pediatric resuscitation research with an exception from informed consent. This model was used successfully in a randomized controlled trial comparing the use of vasopressin to epinephrine in children with inpatient cardiac arrest. Dr. Morris was an invited, sponsored participant in a 2006 NIH Workshop entitled: "Ethical and Regulatory Issues in Emergency Research in Children," In 2007-2009, she served as a member of NIH advisory committee for a pediatric randomized controlled trial with an exception from informed consent.

Dr. Morris’ current projects continue to focus on research ethics, though in very diverse settings: greater than minimal risk, non-therapeutic research; the ethical challenges of conducting critical care research in developing countries; and enrolling brain dead humans in medical research.

Jeff Edwards M.D.

Dr. Jeff Edwards is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center and a pediatric critical care specialist at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. He is a health services researcher and a NICHD Pediatric Critical Care and Trauma Scientist Development Program Scholar. In addition to bioethics, he has a clinical and research interest in children with complex chronic conditions and technology-dependence, especially how critical illness impacts these medically fragile children and their families and how these children impact pediatric ICUs.

Prior to medical school, Dr. Edwards pursued graduate studies in bioethics at Georgetown University and received a Master's of Arts in theology with a concentration in bioethics from Boston College. As a pediatric resident, he was a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellow and developed a volunteer program to provide in-home respite care for parents with complex chronic conditions. Before coming to Columbia, he was junior faculty at UCSF, where he earned a Master's in clinical research.

His research concentrates on the care of children dependent on chronic respiratory technologies (e.g., tracheostomies, home ventilators). Many children requiring these technologies have substantial comorbidities, life-limiting conditions resulting in shortened life expectancies, and high risk for acute deterioration, further morbidity, and sudden death. CV does not mitigate these comorbidities and risks, but does demand constant, complex domiciliary care, often leading to emotional, psychological, and financial distress for the family. As a result, some clinicians question the moral appropriateness of always offering these technologies. Dr. Edwards has published several research papers addressing the outcomes and end-of-life circumstances of these children. He also authored a chapter on their palliative care needs for a forthcoming book on the care of children on chronic ventilation. He is now focusing on developing evidence-based ways to support decision-making around chronic ventilation for children with life-limiting conditions.

Mary E. Tresgallo D.N.P., M.P.H., BC-FNP

Dr. Mary Tresgallo is Assistant Professor of Nursing at Columbia University Medical Center. In 2013 after a 15 year tenor she retired her positions as an Attending Nurse Practitioner for Pediatric Pain Medicine and Symptom Management and as the Associate Administrative Director of Pediatric Pain Medicine in the Division of Pediatric Pain Medicine and Advanced Care in the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University. As a board certified family nurse practitioner of over 20 years Dr. Tresgallo has extensive clinical experience in the care of critically ill children and adults in the areas of cardiology, intensive care, hematology/oncology and pediatric pain, symptom management and palliative care.

Dr. Tresgallo received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Columbia University in 2008 and her Master of Science and Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University in 1992. In 2008 she was awarded a certificate in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from the Cardozo Law School in collaboration with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her residency training for completion of her doctoral work was under the tutelage of Nancy Neveloff Dubler, LLB, Professor of Bioethics and then Director of the Division of Bioethics in the Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in NYC.

In 2011 she completed basic mediation skills training at the Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic, a highly experiential basic training that is approved under Part 146 by the New York State Unified Court System’s Office of ADR Programs. In Spring of 2014 she enrolled at the Community Mediation Services Training Institute (CMSTI) in NYC for a five – day mediation skills training certified by the Office Court Administration. She will be completing a formal mediation apprenticeship in May 2015 as a next step for qualifying as a mediator by the Queens Mediation Network.

She has been a member of the Pediatric Ethics Committee of Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital since 2005 and has been the co-Vice Chairman of the Pediatric Ethics Committee at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital since 2011. She currently serves as a pediatric ethics consultant and as faculty in the Program in Women and Children’s Bioethics in Pediatrics at CUMC.

Dr. Tresgallo has served as a reviewer for articles submitted with a focus in ethics to the peer reviewed journal Clinical Scholars Review: The Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice. She currently serves as a faculty advisor and content expert in ethics to doctoral students completing their Doctor of Nursing Practice at CUMC. She is also co-faculty for the subspecialty track in Pediatric Palliative Care and Palliative Care Across the Lifespan at Columbia University School of Nursing.

She has lectured in medical and nursing ethics across disciplines both intra and extramurally and has authored numerous publications in peer reviewed journals in the areas of pediatric pain medicine, palliative care and ethics as well as co-authored book chapters. Her areas of research interest and advocacy in bioethics include mediation as a tool in bioethics consultation for the care of complex medical patients, the role of nursing in bioethics at quaternary medical centers; the experience of moral distress in healthcare providers and decision-making in children with advanced and life threatening illness. She is also interested in exploring the development of nurse fellowship opportunities in ethics and in developing medical and nursing curriculum in ethics.

Maya Sabatello Ph.D., LL.B.

Maya Sabatello is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Bioethics at Columbia University's Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry. A lawyer with a PhD in political Science, she previously litigated cases of medical malpractice and has worked as a legal advisor to national and international non-governmental organizations to promote health-related human rights. As a Permanent Representative for a nongovernmental organization at the United Nations she participated in the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Since 2006, she’s been teaching at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs and Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. She was appointed a Visiting Research Fellow at Columbia University Law School (2012-2013) and a Research Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School (2011-2013).

Sabatello’s research focuses on the intersection between law, disability, society, and bioethics, especially with regard to children and families. Her research is interdisciplinary and cross-cultural and she has written and presented about the law, ethics and politics of disability; children as active participants in medical decision-making; research with human subjects with cognitive impairments; medical and assistive technologies; and the legal, social and ethical implications of assisted reproduction, including genetic selection, gamete donation, and posthumous conception, particularly on the resulting children. Sabatello is especially interested in the association between neuropsychiatric genetics, law and advocacy, and in genetics in pediatrics. She published in leading peer-reviewed human rights and law journals, authored Children’s Bioethics (Martinus Nijhoff, 2009), and co-edited, Human Rights and Disability Advocacy (Penn. University Press, 2014).

John M. Driscoll M.D.

Dr. John Driscoll is the Reuben S. Carpentier Professor and Chair of Pediatrics Emeritus at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. Prior to becoming Chairman of Pediatrics he was the Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit from 1973 to 1992. In 1978 he began and was the first Chair of the Neonatal Ethics Committee at Babies Hospital, one of the first pediatric ethics committees in the United States. When this ethics committee developed into the Pediatric Bioethics Committee in 1984, he continued to Chair that committee until 1996. After stepping down as Department Chair in 2007, he returned to Bioethics, completing the Fellowship in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School from 2007 to 2008. He then returned to Columbia University where he is once again the Chair of the Pediatric Ethics Committee.

Kristina Orfali Ph.D.

Kristina Orfali, Associate Professor of Bioethics in Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center is a sociologist and ethicist, also a Faculty Associate at the Center for Bioethics and a Research Scholar at Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP). She serves on the pediatric ethics committee at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York and is a pediatric clinical ethics consultant at CUMC. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications in journals including Social Science and Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Ethics, Perspectives in Medicine and Biology, Sociology of Health and Illness, the American Journal of Bioethics, Paediatric Child Health, the Journal of Consumer Research etc. as well as several chapters and special issues such as. The View From Here: Bioethics and the Social Sciences (Blackwell, 2007) and "Bioethics in the Field: the Social Reproduction of Bioethics in Diverse Cultural Contexts (Social Science and Medicine, vol.98)". She is the co-editor of books such as: "Who is my Genetic Parent? Donor Anonymity and Assisted Reproduction: a Cross-Cultural Perspective "(Bruylant, 2010);" Families and End of Life Treatment Decisions: An International Perspective" (Bruylant, 2012); "The Female Body: A Journey Through Law, Culture and Medicine" (Bruylant, 2013).

Her more recent work focuses on ethical dilemmas, subjective risk assessment and international variations in medical prognosis in neonatology, a particular emphasis being put on the links between decision theory and empirical results.

Helen M. Towers, LRCP & SI, MBBCh

Dr. Helen Towers is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center and Associate Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York. Dr. Towers is a member of the Pediatric Ethics Committee and serves as Chair of the Subcommittee for Education. She works as a pediatric ethics consultant at CUMC. She is a member of the Bioethics Section of the AAP. In 2008 she was awarded a certificate in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from the Cardozo Law School in collaboration with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She has lectured on ethics to both postgraduate nursing students and residents. She has been Chair of the Bereavement Committee at MSCHONY that organizes hospital wide conferences on end of life issues. Her interests include communication with families in times of stress and she has co-presented workshops at the national AAP meeting on the Delivery of Bad News to Parents.

Lynn Wein Bush, Ph.D., M.S., M.A.

Lynn Wein Bush, PhD MS MA is on the faculty of Pediatric Clinical Genetics at Columbia University Medical Center, a faculty associate at the Center for Bioethics, and a member of the Pediatric Ethics Committee at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. She serves as bioethicist for CUMC’s weekly Pediatric-Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinical Genomics case conference and Personalized Genomic Medicine constitutional sign-outs and teaches genome-related topics to PGY-IV students during their Ethics elective rotation. Dr. Bush is an invited member of the following advisory committees and professional organizations including: the American College of Medical Genetics & Genomics (Social, Ethical, Legal Issues Committee; Chair Public Health-SIG); Newborn Screening Translational Research Network (Ethics-Legal workgroup); Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine; American Society of Human Genetics (Ethics liaison); Society of Inherited Metabolic Disease (Ethics liaison; Planning committee); International Society for the Study of Inborn Errors of Metabolism; International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis; American Public Health Association (Ethics Section Leadership committee; Ethics liaison to Maternal-Child Health); Society for Pediatric Psychology; Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology; Society of Clinical Neuropsychology; American Society of Bioethics and Humanities (Pediatric AG Steering committee). Her focus continues to be on dilemmas posed during the prenatal-neonatal period, especially with genetic-omic based technologies; pediatric conditions such as inborn errors of metabolism, unknown or rare diseases, complex neurodevelopmental disorders; and medical professionalism. Dr. Bush creates case vignette-plays as a pedagogical approach to bring to life these complex issues, enhance ethical reflection, and foster interdisciplinary discourse. Dr. Bush co-authored a book (with Karen Rothenberg), The Drama of DNA: Narrative Genomics, Oxford University Press.