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L. Syd M Johnson

Syd-web-photo.jpgL. Syd M Johnson, PhD, HEC-C, is a philosopher/bioethicist/neuroethicist, a Clinical Ethics Consultant, and Associate Professor of Bioethics and Humanities. She has a BA in Film from Bard College, and an MA and PhD in Philosophy from University at Albany, State University of New York. Dr. Johnson is a member of the National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative Neuroethics Working Group; the American Society of Transplantation, Transplant Regenerative Medicine Community of Practice and Psychosocial and Ethics Community of Practice, Ethics of Pig to Human Xenotransplantation Work Group; an associate editor for the journal Neuroethics; and the Biomedical Ethics and Neuroethics editor for PhilPapers.org.

Dr. Johnson teaches Clinical Bioethics, Health Systems Science, and Health Care Ethics. She is the course director for Individualized Study in Bioethics, and leads ethics seminars for residents at Upstate’s hospitals.

Her current research focuses on ethical issues related to brain injuries, especially brain death and disorders of consciousness, xenotransplantation, and animal research ethics. Her work is situated at the intersection of ethics, medicine, and law. Her interest in all things with brains/minds includes every kind of critter, zombies, and robots.

Dr. Johnson may be reached by phone at 315.464.8455 or by email at [email protected].

Dr. Johnson's current CV.

Selected Publications

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2024. Johnson, LSM, Fenton, A., Jensvold, M. The Three Pillars of Ethical Research with Nonhuman Primates: A Work Developed in Collaboration with the National Anti-Vivisection Society. Cambridge Elements Series. Cambridge University Press. (in press)

2024. Johnson, LSM. Philosophical, Medical, and Legal Controversies About Brain Death. Cambridge Elements Series. Cambridge University Press. (in press)

2022. Johnson, LSMThe Ethics of Uncertainty Entangled Ethical and Epistemic Risks in Disorders of Consciousness.New York: Oxford 

2020. Johnson, LSM., Fenton, A, Shriver, A. (eds). Neuroethics and Nonhuman Animals. Switzerland: Springer.

2019. Andrews, K., Comstock, G., Crozier, GKD., Donaldson, S., Fenton, A., John, T.,  Johnson, LSM.,  Jones, RC., Kymlicka, W., Meynell, L., Nobis, N., Peña-Guzman, D., Sebo, J. Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosopher’s Brief. New York: Routledge.

2018. Johnson, LSM., Rommelfanger, KS. (eds), Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. New York: Routledge.


Book Chapters:

2023. Johnson, LSM. Interrogating the Culture of Human Exceptionalism: Animal Research and the Neuroethics of Animal Minds and Brains. In Farisco, M. (ed) Neuroethics and Cultural Diversity London/Hoboken: ISTE Science/Wiley (invited)

2023. Johnson, LSM. Arguments Favoring Continuation of “Organ Support” when Families Object to Declaration of Death by Neurologic Criteria in Lewis, A. and Bernat, J. (eds) 2022. Death Determination by Neurologic Criteria: Areas of Controversy and Consensus Switzerland: Springer (invited)

2020. Johnson, LSM. Introduction to Animal Neuroethics: What and Why? In LSM Johnson, A Fenton, A Shriver (eds). Neuroethics and Nonhuman Animals. Switzerland: Springer

2020. Johnson, LSM. The Trouble with Animal Models in Brain Research. In Johnson, Fenton, Shriver (eds), Neuroethics and Nonhuman Animals. Switzerland: Springer.

2019. Johnson, LSM. The Transformer: Approaching the Assisted Death of Animals and Humans with Epistemic Humility and Uncertainty. In B. Donaldson & A.H. King (eds), Feeling Animal Death: Being Host to Ghosts. London: Rowman & Littlefield International.

2018. Johnson, LSM. Prenatal and Neonatal Neuroethics: The moral significance of painience. In L.S.M. Johnson & K.S. Rommelfanger (eds), Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. New York: Routledge.

2016. Johnson, LSM. When hypothetical vulnerability becomes actual: Research participation and the autonomy of pregnant women. In F. Baylis & A. Ballantyne (eds), Clinical Research Involving Pregnant Women. Springer.

2016. Johnson, LSM. Moving beyond end-of-life: the ethics of disorders of consciousness in an age of discovery and uncertainty. In M. Monti & W. Sannita (eds), Brain function and responsiveness in disorders of consciousness. Springer.

2016. Johnson, LSM. Reproductive Technologies. In C.M. Klugman (ed). Philosophy: Medical Ethics. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Philosophy series. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA.


Journal Articles:

2024. Johnson, LSM, Ferdowsian, H. and Pierce, J. How One Health Instrumentalizes Nonhuman Animals. AMA Journal of Ethics 2024; 26(2): 124-129 (in press)

2023. Johnson, LSM. DCD Donors are dying, but not dead. American Journal of Bioethics 2023; 23(2): 28-30. (open peer commentary)

2023. Pierce, J., Bekoff, M., Ferdowsian, H., King, B.J., Johnson, LSM. Healthy Conversation About Meat? (letter to the editor, peer-reviewed) AMA Journal of Ethics 2023; 25(6):E461-463.

2023. Feltz, A., Caton, J., Cogley, Z., Engel, M., Feltz, S., Ilea, R. Johnson, LSM, Offer-Westort, T. Using Food Frequency Questionnaires to Measure Traits: A Case Study of Animal Product Consumption. Psychology of Human-Animal Intergroup Relations 2023; 2: 1-22. doi: 10.5964/phair.10145

2022. Das, J., Forlini, C., Porcello, DM, Rommelfanger, KS, Salles, A, and Global Neuroethics Summit Delegates. Neuroscience is ready for Neuroethics Engagement. Frontiers in Communication 2022; doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2022.909964.

2022. Johnson, LSM. Existing Ethical Tensions in Xenotransplantation. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2022; 31(3): 355-367. doi:10.1017/S0963180121001055

2022. Feltz, A., Caton, J., Cogley, Z., Engel, M., Feltz, S., Ilea, R., Johnson, LSM, Offer-Westort, T. Developing an Objective Measure of Knowledge of Factory Farming, Philosophical Psychology 2022. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2022.2056436.

2022. Feltz, A., Caton, J., Cogley, Z., Engel, M., Feltz, S., Ilea, R., Johnson, LSM, Tuvel, R. Educational Interventions and Animal Consumption: Results from Lab and Field Studies. Appetite 173(1): doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2022.105981

2022. Ferdowsian, H., Fuentes, A., Johnson, LSM, King, B., Pierce, J. Toward an Anti-Maleficent Research Agenda. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2022 31(1):54-58.

2021. Lazaridis, C., Johnson, LSM. Determination of Brain Death. JAMA 2021; 325(5):492-4922021. Lazaridis, C., Desai, M., Johnson, LSM. Communication And Well-Being Considerations in Disorders of Consciousness (Letters to the Editor). Neurocritical Care 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12028-020-01175-z 

2021. Johnson, LSM. Shifting the Moral Burden: Expanding Moral Status and Moral Agency. Health and Human Rights Journal 2021 23(2): 63-73.

2020. Johnson, LSM. The road not mapped: The neuroethics roadmap on research with nonhuman primates. AJOB Neuroscience 2020; 11(3): 176-183.

2020. Johnson, LSM. Restoring trust and requiring consent in death by neurological criteria. AJOB 2020 20(6): 33-35

2020. Johnson, LSM and K. Cerminara. All Things Considered: Surrogate Decision-making on Behalf of Patients in the MCS. Clinical Ethics 2020; doi 10.1177/1477750920927177

2019. Johnson, LSM. Neuroethics of the Nonhuman. AJOB Neurosci 2019;10(3):111-113. doi: 10.1080/21507740.2019.1632973.

2019. Ferdowsian, H., Johnson, LSM., Johnson, J., Fenton, A., Shriver, A., and Gluck, J. A Belmont Report for animals?. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics  2019; doi: 10.1017/S0963180119001130. [Epub ahead of print]

2019. Ramos, K., Grady, C., Greely, HT., Chiong, W., Eberwine, J., Farahany, N., Johnson, LSM., Hyman, BT., Hyman, SE., Rommelfanger, KS., Serrano, E., Churchill, J., Gordon, J., and Koroshetz, WJ.  The NIH BRAIN Initiative: Integrating Neuroethics and Neuroscience. Neuron 2019; 101(3): P394-398.

2018. Greely, H., Grady, C., Ramos, K., Chiong, W., Eberwine, J. Farahany, N., Johnson, LSM, Hyman, B., Hyman, S., Rommelfanger, K.S., and Serrano, E., The Neuroethics Working Group. Neuroethics Guiding Principles for the NIH BRAIN Initiative. The Journal of Neuroscience 2018; 38(50): 10586-10588.

2018. Global Neuroethics Summit Delegates, et al. Neuroethics Questions to Guide Ethical Research in the International Brain Initiatives. Neuron 2018; 100: doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.09.021

2018. Johnson, LSM., Lazaridis, C. The sources of uncertainty in disorders of consciousness. AJOB Neuroscience 2018; 9(2): 76-82.

2017. Johnson, LSM. Death by neurological criteria: Expert definitions and lay misgivings. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine 2017; 110(5): 267-270.

2016. Johnson, LSM. Inference and inductive risk in disorders of consciousness. AJOB Neuroscience 2016; 7(1): 35-43.

2016. Johnson, LSM. The case for reasonable accommodation of conscientious objections to declarations of brain death. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 2016; 13(1): 105-115.

2015. Johnson, LSM. Sport-related neurotrauma and neuroprotection: Are Return-to-play protocols justified by paternalism? Neuroethics 2015; 8(1):15-26.