Madison Powers, JD, DPhil

Senior Research Scholar,
Professor of Philosophy

Dr. Powers is Professor in the Department of Philosophy in addition to his role at the KIE, where he served as Institute director from 2000–2009.

Powers has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics in normative and practical philosophy, many centering on questions of justice in public health and social policy.

With co-author Ruth Faden, he is working on a new book refining and expanding the arguments from their 2006 book, Social Justice: the Moral Foundations of Public Health and Health Policy. The new book, entitled Structural Injustice: Deprivation, Disadvantage, and Domination, presents an account of the most basic, morally most urgent forms of structural injustice, both domestically and globally.

Powers’ other primary research focus is on a set specific issues of justice pertaining to climate change, the global production of food, and the management of water resources. The overall aim is to show how the production, distribution, and regulation of vital, and increasingly scarce resources affect paths to global development, poverty alleviation, and the capacity of individuals and nations to secure the basic requirements for decent human lives and to preserve sustainable human habitats.

This aspect of research involves a series of papers and public lectures, as well as a website containing over 500 entries organized within 36 categories, covering a variety of issues arising out of the global economic and political arrangements pertaining to food, energy, and water.

Before his professional career as a philosopher he was a lawyer working primarily in health and environmental law.

Did you know?

Dr. Powers is the author of FEW Resources, a website devoted to the ethics of global food, energy, and water resource allocation. Launched in 2013, the site quickly earned an international following that continues to grow. It contains over 500 entries organized within 36 categories, covering a variety of issues arising out of the global economic and political arrangements pertaining to food, energy, and water. The site is an ongoing project with regular updates, and currently receives between 10,000-15,000 unique visitors from over 100 countries each month.

Visit FEW Resources »

Publications

BOOKS

  • Madison Powers, Ruth Faden. Social Justice: The Moral Foundations of Public Health and Health Policy. : Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Ruth Faden, Gail Geller, Madison Powers. AIDS, Women, and the Next Generation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

ARTICLES & CHAPTERS

  • "Water, Justice, and Public Health. In Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics, edited by Anna Mastroianni, Nancy Kass, and Jeffery Kahn. NY: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
  • “Food, Fairness, and Global Markets.” In Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics, edited by Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson, and Tyler Dogget. NY and Oxford, Oxford University, forthcoming.
  • "Vulnerable Populations in the Context of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Planning, and Response." In Emergency Ethics: Public Health Preparedness and Response, edited by Bruce Jennings, John D. Arras, Drue H. Barrett, and Barbara A. Ellis, pp. 135-154. New York, Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • “Moral Responsibility for Climate Change.” Routledge Companion to Bioethics, edited by John Arras, Elizabeth Fenton, and Rebecca Kukla, pp. 133-46. Routledge, 2015
  • “Health Care as a Human Right: The Problem of Indeterminate Content.” Jurisprudence 6 no. 1 (2015): 138-43.
  • “Social Justice.” Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 4th edition, edited by Bruce Jennings et al, pp. 2966-2973. (2014).
  • Madison Powers and Ruth Faden, "Social Practices, Public Health, and the Twin Aims of Justice: Responses to Comments,” in a Symposium on Social Justice: the Moral Foundations of Public Health and Health Policy,Public Health Ethics 2013 6 (1): 45-49.
  • Ruth Faden and Madison Powers, "Biotechnology, Justice and Health," Journal of Practical Ethics, (2013). 1 (1): 49-61.
  • Madison Powers, Ruth Faden, and Yashar Saghai, “Liberty, Mill, and the Framework of PublicHealth Ethics.” Public Health Ethics (2012). 5: 6-15.
  • Madison Powers and Ruth Faden, “Health Capabilities, Outcomes, and the Political Ends of Justice.” Journal of Human Development and Capabilities (2011) 12: 565-570.
  • Ruth Faden and Madison Powers, “A Social Justice Framework for Health and Science Policy.” Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (2011) 20: 584-604.
  • Madison Powers and Ruth Faden, “Social Justice, Inequality, and Systematic Disadvantage,” Tom L. Beauchamp, Anna C. Mastroianni, and Jeffrey P. Kahn, coeditors. Contemporary Issues in Bioethics (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2008, pp. 582-590.
  • Madison Powers and Ruth Faden, “Health Inequities and social justice,” Bundesgesundheitsblatt (7: February 2008): 151-157.
  • Larry Gostin and Madison Powers, “Justice and Public Health,” Health Affairs 25 (2006): 1053-1060.
  • David DeMets, Norman Fost, and Madison Powers, “An Institutional Review Board Dilemma: Responsible for Safety Monitoring But Not in Control,” Clinical Trials 3 (2006): 142-148.
  • “Bioethics As Politics: The Limits of Moral Expertise,” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 15(2005): 305-322.
  • “Beyond Separate Spheres” American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Exchange, 8 (Spring 2005): 1, 10.
  • “The Future of Medicare: Ethical Reflections on its Social Purpose,” The Robert H. Levi Lecture Series (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University, 2002).
  • Madison Powers and Ruth Faden, “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care: An Ethical Analysis of When and How They Matter,” in Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, Brian D. Smedley, Adrienne Y. Stith, and Alan R. Nelson, Editors, Committee on Understanding and Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, Board on Health Sciences Policy(Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, 2002: 463-475).
  • “Privacy and Genetics,” in Companion to Genethics, Justine Burley and John Harris, eds. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002): 364-378.
  • “Justice and Genetics,” Hastings Center Report, 31(5) September-October (2001): 47-48.
  • “Some Reflections on Disability and Bioethics,” American Journal of Bioethics, 1(3) Summer (2001): 51-52.
  • “Genetic Information, Ethics, Privacy and Confidentiality: Overview,” in Encyclopedia of Biotechnology: Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues, Thomas Murray and Maxwell Mehlman, eds. (NY: John Wiley and Sons, 2000:405-414).
  • Madison Powers and Ruth Faden, “Inequalities in Health, Inequalities in Health Care: Four Generations of Discussion about Justice and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis,” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 10 (2000): 109-127.
  • “Rule Consequentialism and Friendship,” in Rules and Consequences: New Essays on Rule Consequentialism, Brad Hooker, Dale Miller and Elinor Mason, eds. (Westview Press, 2000: 239-254).
  • Ruth Faden and Madison Powers, “Justice and Incremental Health Care Reform,” Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, Washington, DC: 1999.
  • Jeremy Sugarman, Madison Powers, and Alan Fleishman, “Unraveling the Ethical Issues Associated with Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and Use,” Cancer Research Therapy and Control 8 (1999): 315-321.
  • “Theories of Justice in the Context of Human Subjects Research,” in Beyond Consent: Seeking Justice in Research, Jeffrey Kahn, Anna Mastroianni, and Jeremy Sugarman, eds. (Oxford University Press, 1998, 147-165).
  • “Managed Care: How Economic Incentive Reforms Went Wrong,” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 7 (1997): 353-360.
  • Judith Benkendorf, Jeri Reutenauer, Chanita Hughes, Nadine Eads, Jan Willison, Madison Powers, and Caryn Lerman, “Patients’ Attitudes About Autonomy and Confidentiality in Breast-Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility,” American Journal of Medical Genetics 73 (1997): 296-303.
  • “Justice and Genetics: Privacy Protection and the Moral Basis of Public Policy,” in Genetic Secrets: Privacy, Confidentiality and New Genetic Technology, Mark Rothstein, ed. (Yale University Press, 1997): 355-368.
  • Madison Powers, Carmen Kaminsky, and Motoko Hayashi, “AIDS and Advance Directives: Clinical, Legal and Ethical Perspectives in Japan, Germany and the United States,” Jahrbuch fur Recht und Ethik 4 (1996): 509-528.
  • “A Cognitive Access Definition of Privacy,” Law and Philosophy 15 (1996): 369-386.
  • “Forget About Equality,” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 6 (1996): 129-144.
  • “The Moral Right to Have Children,” in HIV, AIDS and Childbearing: Public Policy, Private Lives, Ruth Faden and Nancy Kass, eds., (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996): 320-344.
  • “Contemporary Defenses of the Doctrine of Double Effect,” Revue Internationale de Philosophie (1995): 181-196.
  • Larry Gostin, Joan Turek-Brezina, Madison Powers, and Rene Kozloff, “Privacy and Security of Health Information: The President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform,” Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine 5 (1995): 1-36.
  • “Repugnant Desires and the Two-Tier Conception of Utility,” Utilitas, Vol. 6, No. 2, (November, 1994): 171-176.
  • “Hypothetical Choice Approaches to Health Care Allocation,” Biomedical Ethics Reviews, 1994: Allocating Health Resources, James M. Humber and Robert F. Almeder, eds., (Clifton, N.J.: Humana Press, 1994): 147-176.
  • “Privacy and the Control of Genetic Information,” The Genetic Frontier: Ethics, Law and Policy, Mark S. Frankel and Albert H. Teich, eds. (Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science Press, 1994): 77-100.
  • Larry Gostin, Joan Turek-Brezina, Madison Powers, et al., “Privacy and Security of Personal Information in a New Health Care System,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 270, No. 20, (November 24, 1993): 2487-2493.
  • “Publication-Related Risks to Privacy: The Ethical Implications of Pedigree Studies,” IRB: Review of Human Subjects Research, Vol. 15, (July/August, 1993): 7-11.
  • “Contractualist Impartiality and Personal Commitments,” American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1, (1993): 63-71.
  • “Efficiency, Autonomy, and Communal Values in Health Care,” Yale Law and Policy Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, (1992): 316-361.
  • “Truth, Interpretation and Judicial Method in Recent Anglo-American Jurisprudence,” Zeitschrift fur Philosophische Forschung, Vol. 46, No. 1, (1992): 101-123.
  • Jeremy Sugarman and Madison Powers, “Reply,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 268, No. 1 (July 1, 1992): 51.
  • Jeremy Sugarman and Madison Powers, “How the Doctor Got Gagged: The Disintegrating Right of Privacy in the Physician-Patient Relationship,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 266, No. 23, (December 18, 1991): 3323-3337.
  • “Justice and the Market for Health Insurance,” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Vol. 1, No. 4, (1991): 307-323.
  • Ruth Faden, Madison Powers, and Gail Geller, “Reply,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 265, No. 12, (March 27, 1991): 1525.
  • “Legal Protections of Confidential Medical Information and the Need for Anti-Discrimination Laws,” AIDS, Women, and the Next Generation, Faden, Geller, and Powers, eds., (NY: Oxford University Press, 1991), 221-255.
  • Ruth Faden, Gail Geller, Madison Powers, “HIV Infection, Pregnant Women, and Newborns: A Policy Proposal for Information and Testing,” AIDS, Women, and the Next Generation, Faden, Geller, and Powers, eds., (NY: Oxford University Press, 1991), 331-358.
  • Ruth Faden, Nancy Kass, and Madison Powers, “Warrants for Screening Programs: Public Health, Legal, and Ethical Frameworks,” AIDS, Women, and the Next Generation, Faden, Geller, and Powers, eds., (NY: Oxford University Press, 1991), 3-26.
  • Working Group on HIV Testing of Pregnant Women and Newborns, “HIV Infection, Pregnant Women, and Newborns: A Policy Proposal for Information and Testing,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 264, No. 18, (Nov. 14, 1990): 2416-2420.
  • “Ethical Considerations in HIV Screening Programs for Infected Women and Children,” AIDS Patient Care, Vol. 4, no. 5 (1990): 40-41.

REVIEWS, OP-EDS, ETC.

  • Review: John Broome, Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World, W.W. Norton and Co., 2012. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, June 2014, available online.
  • Madison Powers and Ruth Faden, “Which Way for Medicare?” The Washington Post, July 10, 1997, A19.
  • “Book Review: Gavin Fairbairn, Contemplating Suicide, and Victor Cosculluella, The Ethics of Suicide,” Philosophical Books 38 (1997): 272-274.
  • “Medicare and Intergenerational Justice,” For Good Reason: Newsletter of the Institute for Ethics and Public Policy, Virginia Commonwealth University, Winter, 1997.
  • “Exploring the Ethical Ramifications of Heritable Breast, Ovarian and Colon Cancer,” Proceedings of an International Symposium on Critical Choices: Ethical, Legal and Sociobehavioural Implications of Heritable Breast, Ovarian and Colon Cancer (University of Toronto Press, 1996): 39-43.
  • “Book Note: Timothy Murphy and Marc Lappe, eds., Justice and the Human Genome Project,Ethics, Vol. 105, (1995): 232.
  • “Consequences to the Individual: Data Collection, Information Use, and Electronic Health Systems,” Conference Proceedings: Health Records: Social Needs and Personal Privacy, (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993): 79-82.
  • “Introduction: Who's In Your Genes?” Proceedings of the Second Conference on Computers, Privacy, and Freedom, (Baltimore, MD: Association for Computing Machinery, 1992): 69-71.
  • “Book Note: Peter Byrne, Ethics and Law in Health Care Research,Ethics, Vol. 103, No. 1 (1992): 212-213.
  • “Clinical Decisions and Judicial Criteria: Review of Alan Meisel, The Right to Die,” Bioethics Books, Vol. 1, No. 4, (1990): 86-88.
  • “Book Review: Tom Sorell, Moral Theory and Capital Punishment,” Philosophical Books, Vol. 29, No. 3, (July, 1988): 162-165.
  • Susan Hurley, Jeff McMahan, and Madison Powers, A Select Bibliography of Moral and Political Philosophy, (Sub-Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University: July, 1987).

OTHER

  • Ruth Faden and Madison Powers, "Justice and Incremental Health Care Reform," Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, 1999.
  • "Medicare and Intergenerational Justice," For Good Reason: Newsletter of the Institute for Ethics and Public Policy, Virginia Commonwealth University, Winter, 1997.
  • "Book Note: Timothy Murphy and Marc Lappe, eds., Justice and the Human Genome Project," Ethics, Vol. 105, (1995): 232.
  • "Book Note: Peter Byrne, Ethics and Law in Health Care Research," Ethics, Vol. 103, No. 1 (1992): 212-213.
  • Susan Hurley, Jeff McMahan, and Madison Powers, A Select Bibliography of Moral and Political Philosophy, (Sub-Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University: July, 1987).