The University of Edinburgh
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Bioethics Program,Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Paul J. Cummins is research assistant professor in Bioethics at Clarkson University. He is also assistant professor of medical education at Icahn School of Medicine. Through that position, he has taught in Clarkson’s Bioethics Master’s degree program since 2015. Dr. Cummins received his PhD, with honors, from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. His doctoral work focused on metaethics, and he completed training in Bioethics through an ethics fellowship at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. At Clarkson, he is the co-PI on a collaborative NIH Fogarty International Center R25 grant, The Caribbean Research Ethics Education Initiative (CREEi). This grant is designed to foster research ethics capacity in the Spanish- and English-speaking Caribbean through the development of two independent Master’s degree programs in Mexico and Grenada. Dr. Cummins is dedicated to the success of the Bioethics Program’s students and supporting them in integrating their passion for bioethics into their careers.
- conscientious objection
- environmental bioethics
- research ethics
- ethics education
The NIH Fogarty International Center R25 grant, The Caribbean Research Ethics Education Initiative (CREEi), aims to foster research ethics capacity in the Spanish- and English-speaking Caribbean through the development of two independent Master’s degree programs in Mexico and Grenada. The grant will pilot three 15-student cohorts through Master’s degree programs, first at Clarkson, and then at the grant partners’ institutions, the Autonomous University of Queretaro and Saint George’s University. This unique program will conduct simultaneous bilingual education to its mixed cohorts of Spanish- and English-speaking students. This plan should enhance the educational experience of the students through cross-cultural understanding and serve as a model for institutions that seek to expand access to education bypassing language requirements.
At present, I am also engaged in a collaborative research project with Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, and Stony Brook University’s Department of Psychology on parental attitudes to adolescent participation in research without parental permission. Specifically, we intend to compare their attitudes about their children’s decision-making about participating in low to high risk non-research activities with research activities. We presented preliminary results at the recent World Congress of Bioethics.
I also continue to work on two other projects.
The question of whether it is ethical for medical professionals to engage in conscientious objection continues to be a major source of disagreement in bioethics. I have argued that part of the reason for this is there is a lack of clarity about what constitutes conscientious objection. I have developed a philosophical account of conscientious objection and have argued that a consequence of this account is that we are asking the wrong ethical question; instead we should be asking what constitutes an ethical response to a claim of conscientious objection. I continue to work on applying this perspective.
Anthropogenic climate change is a catastrophe that humans are not working to mitigate sufficiently. It will have enormous negative affects to human health, and yet it is an area of research that bioethics mostly neglects. I have argued anthropogenic climate change represents a fact that requires reconsideration of central ethical concepts in bioethics. The central ethical concepts of bioethics are in jeopardy because humanities scholars interpret anthropogenic climate change as refuting central beliefs in the liberal tradition. As bioethics continues to become a more inclusive interdisciplinary field, bioethics will have to engage with these perspectives.
2019 Conscientious Objection and Physician-Employees. HEC Forum. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10730-019-09390-8
2019 “If an acute event occurs, what should we do?” Diverse ethical approaches to decision- making in the ICU. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. 22(3): 475-486. Co-author with F. Nicoli, J. A. Raho, R. Portz,, G. Minoja, and M. Picozzi.
2018 Justice and Respect for Autonomy: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Organ Transplants. The Journal of Clinical Ethics. 29(4): 305-312. Co-author with Fedrico Nicoli.
2018 The Anthropocene: The End of Humanism in Bioethics? Ethics, Medicine, and Public Health. 6, 105-114.
2017 TBI and NFL Culture: Can Players Autonomously Refuse Biometric Monitoring? American Journal of Bioethics. 17(1), 75-77.
2015 Improving Third Year Medical Students’ Competency in Clinical Moral Reasoning: Two Interventions to a Curriculum. AJOB Empirical Bioethics. 7(3), 140-148. Co-author with Katherine J. Mendis.
2013 A Model for the Assessment of Medical Students’ Competency in Medical Ethics. AJOB Primary Research 4(4), 68-83. Co-author with Amanda Favia and Lily Frank, et al.
2012 Potential and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: an International Journal 3(4), 263-274.