Last updated on: 7/26/2018 | Author:

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD Biography

Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics at the New York University Langone Health Medical Center
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"

“There are those who, rightly, point to Belgium and the Netherlands as places where there is a slippery slope of euthanasia that includes children, the mentally ill and the disabled. But those nations are permitting assisted suicide, since their policies go far beyond the terminally ill. That is not true in Oregon, and it won’t be true in California.

Relatively few people choose to end their dying more quickly in states such as Oregon and Washington, where assisted dying has been legal for many years. That is as it should be. Assisted dying must be carefully circumscribed to prevent abuses. The California bill [legalizing physician-assisted-suicide] does that.

The evidence shows it does not lead to abuses but rather comfort. [California Governor Jerry] Brown should promptly sign the bill that the people of his state have sent to him.”

“Commentary: The Case for Assisted Dying,”, Sep. 16, 2015

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Individuals with MDs, JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to end-of-life issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to end-of-life.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics, Department of Population Health, New York University Langone Health Medical Center
  • Founding Head and Director, Division of Medical Ethics, School of Medicine, New York University
  • Ethics Advisor, synthetic biology, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, US Department of Defense
  • Member, External Advisory Committee, Orphan Disease Center University of Pennsylvania
  • Member, Ethics and Ebola Working Group, World Health Organization
  • Advisor, organ transplantation, National Institutes of Health
  • Chairperson, Compassionate Use Advisory Committee (CompAC)
  • Former Sidney D. Caplan Professor of Bioethics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Founder, Center for Bioethics and Department of Medical Ethics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Former Chair, National Cancer Institute Biobanking Ethics Working Group
  • Former Chair, Advisory Committee to the United Nations on Human Cloning
  • Former Chair, Advisory Committee to the Department of Health and Human Services on Blood Safety and Availability
  • Former member, Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses
  • Former member, Special Advisory Committee to the International Olympic Committee on Genetics and Gene Therapy
  • Former member, Special Advisory Panel to the National Institutes of Mental Health on Human Experimentation on Vulnerable Subjects
  • PhD, Columbia University
  • Twitter handle: @ArthurCaplan
Quoted in:
  1. Would Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) Encourage the Healthcare Industry to Promote PAS, Endangering Vulnerable Groups?