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Nir Eyal, DPhil

Contact Information

Harvard Medical School
Division of Medical Ethics
641 Huntington Avenue, 2nd floor
Boston, MA 02115
Email: nir_eyal@hms.harvard.edu

Nir Eyal is Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine (Medical Ethics) at the Harvard Medical School. His primary appointment is at Harvard University’s campus-wide Program in Ethics and Health. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Dr. Eyal was the Harold T. Shapiro Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioethics at the Center for Human Values of Princeton University, and previously, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Clinical Bioethics of the National Institutes of Health. He holds a DPhil in Politics from Oxford University, an MA in Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a BA in Philosophy and History from Tel-Aviv University. During 2009-10 he was Faculty Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University. Eyal is Associate Editor of Ethical Perspectives and Co-Editor of the new Oxford University Press series Population-Level Bioethics. In 2013, he will Chair both the Philosophy Subcommittee of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and (until 2016) the Committee on Philosophy and Medicine of the American Philosophical Association.

Ongoing Research

Dr. Eyal is writing, among other things, on ethical ways to address critical health worker shortages; on healthcare rationing in resource-poor settings; on markets in human organs; on the ethical grounds for informed consent; on personal responsibility for health; on the ethics of translational research; and on accrediting corporations for improving global health. Eyal is also completing a book that defends a consequentialist approach to respect for persons and applies that approach to normative questions in bioethics and political theory. Research outside bioethics surrounds egalitarian theory, self-ownership, basic income guarantee, and consequentialism.


    Peer-reviewed journal publications:
  • Eyal N. “Perhaps the Most Important Primary Good”: Self-Respect and Rawls’s Principles of Justice. Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 2005; 4(2): 195-219.
  • Eyal N. If You’re An Egalitarian, How Come You’re So Inegalitarian about Your body? Iyyun 2006; 55: 299-309.
  • Eyal N. Egalitarian Justice and Innocent Choice. Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy 2007; 2(1): 1-18.
  • Eyal N. Utilitarianism and coercion. Notizie di Politeia 2008, 24(90): 108-123.
  • Eyal N. Is the Body Special? An article-length review essay on Cécile Fabre, Whose Body is it Anyway? Utilitas 2009; 21 (2): 233-245. Published along with Fabre’s response.
  • Eyal N., Hurst S. Physician brain drain–can nothing be done? Public Health Ethics 2008, 1(2): 180-192.
  • Sofaer N, Eyal N. The diverse ethics of translational research. American Journal of Bioethics 2010; 10(8), along with seven responses: 19-30.
  • Sofaer N, Eyal N. Translational research beyond approval: A two-stage ethics review. American Journal of Bioethics 2010; 10(8): W1–W3.
  • Eyal N. Near-universal basic income. Basic Income Studies 2010; 5(1): 1-26. Published fall 2010 and backdated to April 2010.
  • Eyal N, Hurst, S. Scaling up changes in doctors’ education for rural retention: a comment on World Health Organization recommendations. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2011; 89(2): 83.
  • Bitton A, Eyal N. Too poor to treat? The complex ethics of cost-effective tobacco control. Public Health Ethics 2011; 4 (2):109-120.
  • Eyal N, Alex E. Voorhoeve. Inequalities in HIV care: chances versus outcomes. American Journal of Bioethics 2011; 11(12):42-4.
  • Eyal N. Why treat noncompliant patients? Beyond the decent minimum account. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2011;36(6):572-88.
  • Eyal N. Grounding reasonableness in rationality: the conditionally-compassionate medical student, and other challenges. 6 Law & Ethics of Human Rights. Forthcoming spring 2012.
  • Eyal N, Bärnighausen T. Precommitting to Serve the Underserved. American Journal of Bioethics 2012; 12(5):23-34.
  • Zimmerman M, Shakya R, Pokhrel BM, Eyal N, Rijal BP, Shrestha RN, Sayami A. Medical students’ characteristics as predictors of career practice location: retrospective cohort study tracking graduates of Nepal’s first medical college. British Medical Journal 2012; 345; Aug 13: e4826.
  • Eyal N, Gosseries, A. Obamacare and conscientious objection: some introductory thoughts. Ethical Perspectives 2013; 20(1):109-117.

  • Peer-reviewed chapters and encyclopedic entries:
  • Eyal N. Poverty reduction and equality with strong incentives: the brighter side of false needs. In: J. Ryberg, T. S. Petersen & C. Wolff (eds.), New Waves in Applied Ethics. 2007. London: Palgrave-MacMillan: 182-216.
  • Eyal N, Hurst S. Coercion in the fight against medical brain drain. R Shah, ed., The International Migration of Health Workers: Ethics, Rights and Justice. London: Palgrave MacMillan: 137-158.
  • Eyal N, Norheim O, Hurst SA, Wikler D, eds., Inequalities in Health: Concepts, Measures, and Ethics New York: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming. (peer-reviewed edited volume)
  • Eyal N, Leveling down health. In N Eyal, O Norheim, SA Hurst, and D Wikler, eds., Inequalities in health: ethics, measurement, and policy. New York: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming.
  • Eyal N, Norheim O, Hurst SA, Marchand S, Wikler D. Inequalities and Inequities in Health. In N Eyal, O Norheim, SA Hurst, and D Wikler, eds., Inequalities in Health: Concepts, Measures, and Ethics New York: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming.
  • Eyal N, Global health impact labels. In E Emanuel & J Millum, eds., Global Justice and Bioethics. New York: Oxford University Press. 2012.
  • Lippert-Rasmussen K, Eyal N. Equality and egalitarianism. In Ruth Chadwick, ed., Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, 2nd Edition, Vol. 2. San Diego: Academic Press. 2012: 141-48.
  • Eyal N, Informed consent. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2011.
  • Eyal N. Respect for persons. Rawls Lexicon. In D Reidy & J Mandle, eds., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming.
  • Eyal N, Bärnighausen T. Conditioning Medical Scholarships on Long, Future Service: a Defense. I. G. Cohen, ed., The globalization of health care: legal and ethical challenges. New York: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming.

  • Non-peer reviewed academic publications (e.g. non-peer reviewed editorials, reviews, chapters):
  • Eyal N. Review of Susan L. Hurley, Justice, Luck, and Knowledge. Economics and Philosophy 2005; 21: 164-171.
  • Eyal N. Motivating prevention: from carrots and sticks to “carrots” and “sticks.” Virtual Mentor 2008; 10(11): 756-62.
  • Eyal, N. What Is It Like to Be A Bird? Wikler and Brock on the Ethics of Population Health. R Green, A Donovan & S Jauss, eds., Global Bioethics: Issues of Conscience for the Twenty-First Century. January 2009, Oxford University Press: 37-52.
  • William Crouch, Nir Eyal. Don’t Make a Difference. Make the Most Difference. Harvard Health Policy Review fall 2011; 12: 25.
  • Eyal N. Reconciling informed consent with prescription drug requirements. Journal of Medical Ethics 2012; August 4; doi: 10.1136/medethics-2012-100667