Jacob M. Appel is a bioethicist and fiction writer. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown University, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia University, an M.D. from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He has most recently taught at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and at the Gotham Writers Workshop in New York City. He publishes in the field of bioethics and contributes to such publications as the Journal of Clinical Ethics, the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, and the Bulletin of the History of Medicine. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, and other publications.
Appel has also published short fiction in more than one hundred literary journals. His short story, Shell Game With Organs, won the Boston Review Short Fiction Contest in 1998. His story about two census takers, "Counting," was shortlisted for the O. Henry Award in 2001. Other stories received "special mention" for the Pushcart Prize in 2006 and 2007.
He is admitted to the practice of law in New York State and Rhode Island, and is a licensed New York City sightseeing guide.
Appel contributed a Dangerous Idea to Big Think's "Month of Thinking Dangerously," advocating that we add trace amounts of lithium to our drinking water to help reduce the suicide rate.
Appel is a Big Think Delphi Fellow.
The theory is we should protect people from themselves.
If you were really concerned about expenditures on entitlements, you would take people whose families have lived here for a very long time and weren’t being economically productive and you would deport them.
There are also outliers like me who would choose to have female children or gay children and would balance things out.
The people who waved their American flags and shout about patriotism and at the same time don’t want immigrants to come across our borders or are concerned about illegal immigrants have missed the entire point of...
A person should have the right to end their own life, so long as they can prove that they are thinking rationally over a prolonged period of several days.
In objecting to all of these phenomena, people say they're concerned about the welfare of the individuals. But they're really just interested in imposing their own social or religious values on other people.