Halpern, J., From Detached Concern to Empathy: Humanizing Medical Practice. Oxford University Press.  Hardback released 2001. Paperback edition reissued 2011.

Halpern, J., Remaking the Self in the Wake of Illness. This manuscript brings narratives, psychology, and philosophy together to develop a theory of what it means to “adapt” or experience value change in the face of illness and disability. Expected completion late 2017.



2011 paperback cover quote from Abraham Verghese, physician, professor, and author of Cutting for Stone:

“This lovely volume fixes on a profound truth in medicine: to the degree we are moved by our patients suffering we are better able to help them. The age of proteomics and genomics is the age of ‘objective reality’, yet for the patient it is all about humane empathetic care.  Halpern in this scholarly and wonderful, readable volume shows us that empathy  is just as critical for the physician and without it  healing cannot begin.  This book is a must read for all of us with an interest in medical practice.”

Sharon Hull.  Journal of American Medical Association.  February 27, 2002; 287(8): 1052.

From Detached Concern to Empathy may be rightly viewed as a seminal work in developing a scholarly understanding of the subject of empathy.”

Eric Cassell. The New England Journal of Medicine Nov 14, 2002; 347(20): 628-630.

“This is an important book…it is a serious essay on subjectivity, a topic about which we will be seeing more in the coming years.”

Philip Candilis.  Psychiatric Services.  May 2002.  54(5) 641-42.

“This is a beautifully written and beautifully reasoned book.  Physician-ethicist Jodi Halpern crafts one of the finest descriptions available of psychiatry’s advance towards empathic involvement with patients.  Intertwining psychiatry and ethics is no easy task.  However, in Halpern’s hands, a blend of formal research, philosophical modeling and straight talk shows how neatly psychiatry and ethics work together.”

Matthew Rottnek.  American Philosophical Association Newsletter.  Spring 2002; 1(2): 166-171.

From Detached Concern to Empathy is a sophisticated, rigorous, and extremely well-annotated defense of emotional realism in the patient-physician relationship.  Bringing philosophy (both the analytic and continental traditions), psychoanalytic theory and cultural criticism to the subject of emotion, Halpern’s analysis is both encompassing and exact…Given the rigor Halpern maintains throughout the book and the thoroughness and overall success of her argumentation, what is perhaps most impressive is Halpern’s sensitivity to the vicissitudes of human nature.”

Selected Articles

Empathy, Challenges to Empathy

Decety, J., Smith, K., Norman, G., Halpern, J. “Clinical Empathy: What can we learn from social and affective neuroscience?” World Psychiatry (Impact factor 8.97), Fall, 2014.

Halpern, J. “Narratives Hold Open the Future.” Hastings Center Report. January, 2014.

Halpern, J.  “From idealized clinical empathy to empathic communication in medical care.” Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. Summer, 2013.

Halpern, J. “Clinical Wisdom is Practical Wisdom,” Journal of Clinical Ethics, Spring, 2012.

Halpern, J. “Gathering the Patient’s Story,” The Permanente Journal; January, 2012.

Fairweather, A. and Halpern, J.  “Facebook, Sympathy and the Empathic Imagination,” Facebook  and Philosophy, an edited volume with Open Court’s Popular Culture and Philosophy Series, Spring, 2010.

Halpern, J. “Clinical Empathy” in “Empathy: From Bench To Bedside” Jean Decety, ed., MIT Press, December, 2011.

Halpern, J. “Groupthink and Caregivers’ Projections: Addressing Barriers to Empathy,” Journal of Clinical Ethics, Spring, 2009.

Halpern, J. “Patient-Physician Conflicts as Therapeutic Opportunities,” Journal of General Internal Medicine, May 2007 (17): 696-700.

Halpern, J. “Special Section:  From Detached Concern to Empathy, Author Responds to Critics,” The Journal of Clinical Ethics. Winter, 2004; 14(4) 298-307.

Halpern, J. “What is Clinical Empathy?”  Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2003. 18: 670-674.


Autonomy, Emotions and Decision-Making

Halpern, J., “Empowering Patients: Motivational Interviewing and Rethinking the Relational Basis of Autonomy.” Journal of Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology. Summer, 2013.

Halpern, J. “When concretized emotion-belief complexes derail decision-making capacity.” Bioethics, doi: 10.1111/j-1467-8519.2010.01817.x. February, 2012.

Halpern, J. Emotions, “Autonomy and Decision-Making Capacity.” American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, August 2011.

Halpern, J. “Affective Forecasting: An Unrecognized Challenge in Making Serious Health Decisions,” Journal of General Internal Medicine, October, 2008.

Halpern, J,  Little, M. “Health, Risk Communication and the Normative Activity of Coping,”  in Walker, M, and Lindeman, H.eds, Naturalizing Bioethics,  Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Halpern, J. “Let’s Value But Not Idealize Emotions,” Journal of Clinical Ethics, Fall, 2007.

Halpern, J. “Reluctant Patients: Autonomy and Delegating Medical Decisions.” The Journal of Clinical Ethics. Spring, 2002; 13(1): 78-84.


Managed Care, Conflicts of Obligation and Patient Values

Silke,S., Schweda, M., Ballenger, J., Fox, P., Halpern, J.,Kramer,J., Micco, G., Post, S., Thompson,C., Knight,R., Jagust, W. “Before it is too late: Addressing professional responsibilities in late-onset Alzheimer’s dementia research and pre-symptomatic prediction,” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, November, 2014.

Halpern, J. and Jutte, D. “The Ethics of Pay for Success.” Community Development Investment Review, April, 2013.

Halpern, J. and Kravitz, Rl. “Authority, Health Advocacy Organizations and Scientific Evidence.” AMA Journal of Ethics- Virtual Mentor. January 2013, 1;15(1):18-22.

Halpern, J., Kravitz, R. “Authority, Health Advocacy Organizations, and Scientific Evidence.”  Virtual Mentor, AMA Journal of Ethics. January 2013.

Martinson, M. and Halpern, J.  “Ethical implications of the promotion of elder volunteerism: A critical perspective.” Journal of Aging Studies, 2011.

Kravitz RL and Jodi Halpern.  Direct-to-consumer drug ads, patient autonomy and the responsible exercise of power.  Virtual Mentor. 2006; 8:407-411.

Beach, M.C., Meredith, L., Halpern, J., Wells, K., Ford, D.  “Physician Conceptions of Loyalty to Patients and Social Justice in Healthcare.” Annals of Family Medicine. January, 2005.

Halpern, J. “Can the Development of Practice Guidelines Safeguard Patient Values?” The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics. Spring.1995; 23: 75-81.


Addressing Social Trauma, Dehumanization and Social Justice

Halpern, J., Jutte, D., Colby, J. and Boyce, W.T. “Social Dominance, School Bullying and Child Health: What are our Ethical Obligations to the Very Young?” Pediatrics, Special Supplement on Pediatric Ethics. March 2015.

Shoeb, M., Weinstein, H. and Halpern, J. “Living in Religious Time and Space: Iraqi Refugees in Dearborn, Michigan” Journal of Refugee Studies, September, 2007.

Dhawaan, N., Steinbach, A., Halpern, J. “Physician Empathy and Compassion for Inmate Patients,”, Journal of Correctional Health, Fall, 2007.

Halpern, J. and Weinstein, H. “Rehumanizing the Other: Empathy and Social Reconciliation,” Human Rights Quarterly. August, 2004. 26 (3): 561-583


Ethical Dilemmas

Portacolone,E., Halpern, J. “Move or Suffer: Is Age Segregation the New Norm for Older Americans Living Alone?” Journal of Applied Gerontology, Fall, 2014.

Halpern, J.  “Publishing Clinical Cases:  Who Owns the Story?  Is the Patient’s Consent Needed?  Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, July, 2011; vol 3(7):660-663.

Halpern, J.  “Responding to the Need Behind the Question, ‘Doctor, if This Were Your Child, What Would You Do?’” The Journal of Clinical Ethics.  Spring-Summer, 2003; 14(1/2): 71-78.

Halpern, J.  “Beyond Wishful Thinking: Facing the Harm That Psychotherapists Can Do by Writing About Their Patients” The Journal of Clinical Ethics. Spring-Summer, 2003. 14(1/2): 118-136.


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