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Andrew Flescher


Andrew Flescher | Experts at Stony Brook University, New York
Medical Humanities; Bioethics and Disability Studies; Literature and Ethics; Ethics and Narratives of the Problem of Evil;  Comparative Religious Ethics; George Bernard Shaw; Ethics and Health Care Policy; Ethics of Organ Donation; Compassion and Altruism; Health Care Justice; Normative Ethics; Moral Theory; Religion and Culture; Literature and Film
Health Sciences Building, Level 3, Room 114 | 631-638-1014

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  • Biography


    Andrew M. Flescher, Ph.D., is a Professor of English and Professor of Family, Population, and Family Medicine, where he is also core faculty in the Program in Public Health at SUNY, Stony Brook. Currently its vice-chair, in July 2023, Dr. Flescher assumes the role of chair of the UNOS/OPTN ethics committee and also currently serves on the NY State Transplant Council as the body’s bioethicist. Dr. Flescher specializes in medical humanities, areas related to the interface between ethics and literature, health care policy, organ donation policy, public health, and medical and bioethics. Dr. Flescher received his B.A. in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and History from Duke University (1991) and his M.A. (1995) and Ph.D. (2000) in Religious Studies from Brown University. In addition to writing several articles and book chapters, he is the author of four books: Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality (2003); The Altruistic Species (2007, winner of the Choice Award); Moral Evil  (2013, winner of the Prose Award); and The Organ Shortage Crisis in America (January, 2018).   

  • Selected Scholarly Publications

    Selected Scholarly PUBLICATIONS

    (All Single authored except where specified; four books below are highlighted)

    January 2022:  “An Ethical Analysis Examining the Prioritization of Living Donor Transplantation in Times of Healthcare Rationing,”, Kulkarni, S., Flescher, A., Ahmad, M., Bayliss, G., Bearl, D.W., Biondi, L., Davis, E., George, R.P., Gordon, E., Lyons, T., Wightman, A. and Ladin, K. Journal of Medical Ethics, see:

    Fall 2020: “Seeking Forgiveness Rooted in Truth, Reconciliation and Forgiveness,” Medicine, Conflict and Survival. Co-authored with Geraldine Gorman Oxford, England Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group), see:

    January 2020:  “Access to transplantation for persons with intellectual disability: Strategies for non-discrimination,” American Journal of Transplantation. Co-authored with Ahston Chen, et. al., (2020; 20:8), 2009-2016. See:

    January 2020:  “Is There, If Not Virtue, Any Moral Value to Be Found in Payback?,” Religions, vol. 11, no. 28, Basel, Switzerland: MDPI

    July 2018: “Priorities in Recovering from a Lost Generation of Firearms Research,” co-authored with 9 public health scholars), American Journal of Public Health vo. 108, no. 7 (July 2018)

    January 2018: Book: The Organ Shortage Crisis in America: Markets, Civic Duty, and How to Close the Gap (Georgetown University Press)

    Fall 2017: Book Review, Christian Understandings of Evil: The Historical Trajectory by Charlene P. E. Burns (Theological Studies)

    Fall 2017: Book Chapter, “The Ethics of War and Peace in the Contemporary Era,” Preventing War and Promoting Peace: A Guide for Health Professionals, Cambridge University Press

    Spring 2016:  “Academic Public Health and the Firearm Crisis: An Agenda for Action,” (co-authored with 7 public health scholars), American Journal of Public Health, vo. 107, no. 3 (March, 2017)

    Winter 2016: “Altruism,” Encyclopedia Entry for VSR (Vocabulary for the Study of Religion), eds., Kocku von Stuckrad and Robert Segal (Brill)

    Fall 2015: “Updating the Argument for Permitting and Federally Funding Stem Cell Research,” Current Stem Cell Reports (Springer), Volume 1. No. 4. Co-Authored with Mike Roess, Ph.D.

    Fall 2015: “Chosenness and the Imperative of Nonviolence: A Response to Aryeh Cohen on Tamares and Levinas,” Journal for the Society of Jewish Ethics

    Fall 2014: Book Review, Doctors without Borders: Humanitarian Quests, Impossible Dreams of Médecins Sans Frontières by Renée Fox (The Pharos, Autumn, 2014, pp. 46-49)

    Fall 2014: “Health and Health Care Policy: An Ethical Perspective (1970s- present), Chapter 18 of The Guide to U.S. Health and Health Care Policy, DWJ Books LLC, ed. Thomas Oliver

    Spring 2014: “Freedom and Free Will,” Bioethics, 4th Edition. Edited by Bruce Jennings.  Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2014.

    Fall 2013: Book: Moral Evil  (Georgetown University Pres; Winner of Prose Award---First Place)

    Fall 2013: Book Review of Repentance: The Meaning & Practice of Teshuvah (Journal for the Society of Christian and Jewish Ethics), ed. Lois Malcolm 

    Spring, 2012: “Jamesian Overbelief and the Therapy of Hope,” Susanne Rohr and Miriam Strube (eds.). Revisioning Pragmatism: William James in the New Millennium, (Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, 2012).

    Spring, 2012: “Religious Saints,” International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette (Wiley-Blackwell)

    Fall 2010: “Representations of Belief in a Cinematic Medium,” The Encyclopedia of Religion and Film

    March 2009: “The Future of Faith-Based Initiatives,” Religious Studies News

    Spring 2009: Book Review of Probing the Depths of Evil and Good: Multireligious Views and Case Studies, eds. Jerald D. Gort, Henry Jansen and Hendrik M. Vroom, Religious Studies Review

    Spring 2008: Book Review of The Ten Commandments for Jews, Christians, and Others, ed. Roger E. Van Harn, Dialogue and Alliance

    Fall 2007: BookThe Altruistic Species: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Human Altruism(Templeton Press; Winner of Choice Award), Co-authored with Daniel Worthen, Ph.D.

    Fall 2007: Book Review of War and the Christian Conscience: Where do you Stand by Joseph J. Fahey and Torture: Religious Ethics and National Security and by John Perry in The Journal for the Society of Christian Ethics

    Spring 2006: Book Review of Common Morality: Deciding What to Do by Bernard Gert in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion

    Winter 2004: Book Review of The Priority of Love: Christian Charity and Social Justice by Timothy P. Jackson in The Journal for the Society of Christian Ethics           

    August 2004: Two Discussion Analyses (case studies), Case Studies in Community Health Care Ethics, eds. Joel Zimbelman and Becky White (Longman Publishing)

    Fall 2003: Book: Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality (Georgetown University Press)

    Fall 2003: Book Review of The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life, by Jeff McMahan in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion

    October 2000: Book Review of Proselytism and Orthodoxy in Russia, eds. John Witte Jr. and Michael Bourdeaux, Dialogue and Alliance.  

    October 2000: Book Review of Religious Freedom and Evangelization in Latin America: The Challenge of Religious Pluralism, ed. Paul E. Sigmund, Dialogue and Alliance.

    March 2000: “Characterizing the Acts of Righteous Gentiles: A Matter of Duty or Supererogation?,” The Journal of Religion and Society. Volume 2. Web Address:

    January 2000: “Love and Justice in Reinhold Niebuhr's Prophetic Christian Realism and Emmanuel Levinas's Ethics of Responsibility: Treading between Pacifism and Just War,” The Journal of Religion. Volume 80, no.1. pp. 61-82

    October 1999: Book Review of CommunityLiberalism, and Christian Ethics by David Fergusson, Religious Studies Review. Volume 25, no.4., p. 394.

    Fall 1995: Inclusion of paper, “Teacher as Authority and Mediator,” in Counterpoints: Issues in Teaching Religious Studies, eds. Mark Hadley and Mark Unno. (Department of Religious Studies, Brown University), pp. 64-68.

  • Courses


    Department of English 

    Spring 2022                                     “Public Health: A Humanities Approach”

    Fall 2021                                            “Medical Humanities and Disability Studies (English 608)

    Spring 2020-2021                       “Literature, Medicine, and Ethics”

    Fall 2018                                             “Authors, Periods, Genres, or Topics with Intensive Writing”

    Spring 2016-2019                        “Literature and Ethics”

    Fall 2017; Fall 2019                       “Introduction to Literature and Film”

    Fall 2014; 2015; 2016                  “Drama in the English Language”

    Department of English and Philosophy, Cross-Listed

    Spring 2010-2015                          “The Problem of Evil: Philosophical and Narrative Dimensions of Evil”

    Masters Program in Public Health

    Fall 2013-2021                                 “Contemporary Issues in Public Health”

    Summer 2014                                  “History of Public Health and History of Medicine”

    Masters in Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics

    Spring 2013-2014                     “The Problem of Evil: Philosophical, Social, and Biological Dimensions of Evil”

    Spring 2013                                    “Capstone Course in MA in Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics”

    Fall 2011; 2012                             “Traditions and Values in Bioethical Conflicts”


    Medical School

    Spring 2012-2016                            “The Best Medicine Money Can Buy” (Second Year Selective)

    Fall 2015                                                  “Solving the World’s Organ Shortage Problem” (Second Year Selective)

    Fall, Spring 2009-2014                   Medicine in Contemporary Society II (second years)

    Fall, Spring 2009-2010                   Medicine in Contemporary Society I, “Medical Foundations” (first years)

    Spring 2010                                          “Altruism in Medicine (Fourth Year Elective)

    Spring 2010; 2011                            “Altruism in Medicine (Second Year Selective)

  • Op Eds/Interviews/Articles in Media Outlets


    July 26th, 2018 “How to Provide Better Incentives to Organ Donors,” 


    February 26th, 2018 “Heard Immunity,” (co-authored with Geoffrey Kabat) 


    November 18th, 2014 “Are We Failing our Medical Heroes?”(co-authored with Dr. Ben Luft)

    October 13th, 2014 “We Shouldn’t Glorify the Right to Die”

  • Administration and Service


    Fall 2021-present: University Senate Faculty Representative on Student Affairs Committee

    Fall 2020-present: University Senate University Affairs Committee as the HSC representative 

    Summer 2020-present: Stony Brook University “Return To Work” Task Force (Faculty Senate Representative)

    Summer 2015-present: Appeals Committee, Committee of University Standards (this is a substantial committee, meeting weekly for 2 hours a week)

    Summer 2015-present: NEH University Selection Committee

    Spring 2014-present: Living Donor Advocate

    Fall 2009-present: Organ Donor Council

    Fall 2009-present: Chief Organizer: Annual Conference on Organ Transplantation

    Spring 2010-present: Hospital Ethics Committee

    Summer 2014-present: Undergraduate Curriculum Committee: Department of English

    Summer 2013-Summer 2015: Committee of University Standards

    Fall 2012-present: Academic Judiciary Committee

    Fall 2012-present: Humanities Institute, Stony Brook (Board Member)

    Fall 2011-Summer 2013: Director, Masters Program in Medical Humanities and Bioethics


    Fall 2021-present: Elected to State of New York Transplant Council (Non voting member until background check approved)

    July 2020-present: Vice Chair, United Network for Organ Sharing Ethics Committee

    January 2018-present: Medical Advisory Board Ethics Committee, LiveOnNY (State of New York ethics advisory board to New York’s OPO)

    July 2017-present: National Ethics Committee, UNOS

    June 2019-present: Social Media Sub-Committee, Temporary Assignment for the Living Donor Committee, UNOS

    September 2019-present: Living Donor Evaluation Working Group, OPTN creator of a teaching module for how transplant centers should conduct the process of recruiting living donors (spearheaded by Elizabeth Suskind)

    Fall 2019-present: Board of Directors, Gold Foundation (Gift of Living Donation)