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John Truman, M.D., M.P.H.

Faculty Affiliate, Bioethics; Professor Emeritus of Clinical Pediatrics and Special Lecturer, Department of Pediatrics

John Truman, M.D. M.P.H., became interested in bioethics in 1977 when asked to care for a 2 ½ year old child whose parents refused standard treatment for acute lymphocytic leukemia. The question was whose rights would prevail in a situation of unpredictable curability. This became the focus of two highly publicized court proceedings which ultimately endorsed the rights of children to potentially life-saving treatment and to protection from unorthodox therapy. 

Truman subsequently became Visiting Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford 1987-88, Visiting Scholar at the Kennedy Center for Bioethics, Georgetown University 1988, and has been a member of the pediatric bioethics committees at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Morristown Memorial Hospital, and the Children’s Hospital of New York for the past 30 years. He has been a member of the Section on Bioethics of the AAP, and from 1998-2004 was a member of the Committee on Bioethics of the AAP. Truman has 12 publications related to bioethics, including the book Human Values in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (1986) co-edited with Jan Van Eys.


  • Human Values in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (Praeger, 1986), co-editor