Peter H. Schwartz, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Peter H. Schwartz is a Faculty Investigator at the Indiana University Center for Bioethics and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is also Associate Professor of Philosophy at the IU School of Liberal Arts, at Indianapolis and practices adult outpatient medicine at the Primary Care Center (PCC) at Wishard Hospital. He is a Research Subject Advocate in the Bioethics and Subject Advocacy Program (BSAP) of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (I-CTSI), and is the Director of the Translational Research Ethics Consultation Service (TREX).

Dr. Schwartz received his B.A. in Biology from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. During residency in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts, he also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at Boston University.

Dr. Schwartz’s current research focuses on ethical issues related to preventive medicine, personalized medicine, and biobank research, as well as other areas. He conducts empirical research on patient understanding and decision-making about colorectal cancer screening, especially regarding the impact of quantitative information and decision aids. For work in this area he holds a Cancer Control Career Development Award for Primary Care Physicians from the American Cancer Society and a Values Fund award from IU Health.

Selected papers:

Schwartz PH. Defending the distinction between treatment and enhancement. [Open Peer Commentary] American Journal of Bioethics 2005; 5 (3): 17-19. PubMed PMID: 16006367.

Schwartz PH. Decision and discovery in defining 'disease.' In: H. Kincaid and J. McKitrick, eds. Establishing Medical Reality: Essays in the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Biomedical Science. Dordrecht: Springer, 2007. pp. 47-64. Available from:

Schwartz PH. Defining dysfunction: natural selection, design, and drawing a line. Philosophy of Science July 2007;74(3):364-385. Available from:

Schwartz PH and Meslin EM. The ethics of information: Absolute risk reduction and patient understanding of screening. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2008; 23(6): 867-870. Available from:

Schwartz PH. Risk and disease. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 2008; 51(3): 320-34. PubMed PMID: 18723938.

Schwartz PH. Disclosure and rationality: Comparative risk information and decision-making about prevention. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2009; 30(3): 199-213. Available from:

Schwartz PH. The value of information and the ethics of personal-genomic screening. [Open Peer Commentary] American Journal of Bioethics 2009 Apr;9(4):26-7. Available from:

Meslin EM, Schwartz PH. To be or not to be - a research subject. In: Kushner TK, editor. Surviving health care: a manual for patients and their families. Cambridge [England]: Cambridge University Press; 2010. p. 146-62. Available from:

Schwartz PH. Autonomy and consent in biobanks. The Physiologist 2010; 53 (1): 1, 3-7. Available from:

Schwartz PH. Questioning the quantitative imperative: decision aids, prevention, and the ethics of disclosure. Hastings Center Report 2011 Mar-Apr;41(2):30-9. PubMed PMID: 21495515.

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