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Medical Ethics; Social and Political Philosophy; Deliberative Democracy; Health Care Policy

Curriculum Vitae


Professor Fleck has published over 160 articles and book chapters  on a broad range of topics in health care ethics, especially issues related to health care justice, health care rationing, and health care policy. More recently he has published a number of articles on ethical issues related to emerging genetic technologies, this in connection with his role as co-principal investigator for two three-year NIH ELSI grants. These grants explored the role of community dialogue (rational democratic deliberation) in addressing controversial issues of ethics and policy related to genetics and reproductive decision making. Some of the work in those community dialogue projects was captured in a book he authored for Oxford University Press in 2009 under the title Just Caring: Health Care Rationing and Democratic Deliberation. Subsequently, he was co-editor for a volume that addressed ethical issues related to the problem of bedside rationing. That volume was also published by Oxford University Press in 2015 under the title Fair Resource Allocation and Rationing at the Bedside.

Currently (2022) he has completed another volume for Oxford University Press under the title Precision Medicine and Distributive Justice: Wicked Problems for Democratic Deliberation.  This volume addresses a number of emerging ethics issues, especially problems of health care justice, related to what is referred to as “precision” or “personalized” medicine, most especially in connection with targeted cancer therapies and immunotherapy.

Professor Fleck has also completed work on another volume for Cambridge University Press (2022) with the title  Bioethics, Public Reason, and Religion: The Liberalism Problem . This volume addresses a number of issues related to emerging medical technologies that are regarded by many religious advocates as being ethically controversial, such as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or gene-editing of human embryos aimed at minimizing the birth of children with life-threatening genetic disorders.

Professor Fleck has served as chair of the Philosophy and Medicine Committee of the American Philosophical Association. He is a Fellow of the Hastings Center as well as the Brocher Foundation (Geneva). He has been the recipient of a University Distinguished Faculty Award (2003) as well as a Distinguished Faculty Award from the College of Human Medicine (2003).

Please see Prof. Fleck’s page at the Center for Bioethics and Social Justice for additional information: http://bioethics.msu.edu/73-people/86-fleck

University News

Leonard Fleck: OP-Ed: Sacrificing Public Health for the Sake of the Economy
Published March 30, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
profile of a man wearing a black sweater and a white collared shirt underneath
(Leonard Fleck, Professor of Philosophy and a faculty member in MSU’s Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, is among the foremost experts on the ethical…Read now »