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Senior Staff

Alan P. Wertheimer, PhD
Senior Research Scholar
Department of Bioethics

Academic Degrees
BA, New York University
PhD, Case Western Reserve University


Phone: 301-435-8729

Portrait of Alan Wertheimer


Dr. Alan Wertheimer's research focuses on the political philosophy of law---including such topics as making ethical decisions and consent and coercion in sexual relations, exploitation, and criminal defense. He also is a professor emeritus at University of Vermont.

Dr. Wertheimer is the author of Coercion (Princeton University Press, 1987) and Exploitation (Princeton University Press, 1996). He has served as visiting professor of public policy at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, professor of law at University of San Diego, and professor of political science at University of Vermont. At University of Vermont he also has chaired the Department of Political Science and the Faculty Standards Committee.

Honors and Awards

Dean's Lecture award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Vermont, 2003; National Endowment for the Humanities, fellowship for college teachers, 1999; university scholar, University of Vermont, 1995-96

Selected Publications


Recruiting and Using Research Subjects: A Philosophical Analysis (Oxford University Press, 2011)

Franklin Miller and Alan Wertheimer (eds) The Ethics of Consent (Oxford University Press, 2009)

Consent to Sexual Relations, Cambridge University Press (2003)

"Exploitation in Clinical Research," in Ezekiel Emanuel and Jennifer Hawkins (eds.) Exploitation in Developing Countries (Princeton University Press, 2008)

"Liberty, Coercion, and the Limits of the State" in Robert Simon (ed.) Blackwell Guide to Social and Political Philosophy (2002)

Exploitation (Princeton University Press, 1996)

James S. Pacy and Alan Wertheimer (eds.) Perspectives on the Holocaust (Westview Press, 1994) (This is a festschrift in honor of Raul Hilberg who retired from University of Vermont in 1992.)

John Chapman and Alan Wertheimer (eds.) Nomos XXXI: Majorities and Minorities (New York University Press, 1990)

Coercion (Princeton University Press, 1987)

"In Defense of Compulsory Voting," in J. Roland Pennock and J. Chapman, (eds.), Nomos XVI: Participation in Politics (New York: Lieber Atherton, 1975), pp. 276-296.


Govind Persad, Alan Wertheimer and Ezekiel Emanuel, "Principles for the Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions," Lancet 373 2009, 422-31.

Owen Schaefer, Ezekiel Emanuel, and Alan Wertheimer, "The Obligation to Participate in Biomedical Research," JAMA 2009; 302; 67-72

Alan Wertheimer and Franklin Miller, "Payment for Research Participation: A Coercive Offer?" Journal of Medical Ethics 2008;34:389-392

Alan Wertheimer and Franklin Miller, "Facing Up To Paternalism in Research Ethics" Hastings Center Report, 37, May 2007

"Reflections on Discrimination " 43 San Diego Law Review 945 (2007).

Are There Any Inalienable Rights," 21 Law and Philosophy (2002)

"A Philosophical Examination of Coercion for Mental Health Issues," Behavioral Sciences and the Law (Summer 1993)

"Two Questions about Surrogacy and Exploitation," Philosophy and Public Affairs (Summer 1992)

"The Equalization of Legal Resources," Philosophy and Public Affairs (October 1988)

"Jobs, Qualifications, and Preferences," Ethics 94:1, (October 1983)

"Freedom, Morality, Plea Bargaining, and the Supreme Court," Philosophy and Public Affairs 8:3 (1979): 203-232

This page last reviewed on 09/2/11

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