Maya Sabatello is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Bioethics, and the Co-Director of the Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture Project, at the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University. Her scholarship focuses on law, society, and disability; regulations of reproductive technologies; and genomic dilemmas and policies, especially in pediatrics and judicial settings.
Sabatello studies how scientific technologies and genetic information impact social structures, vulnerable groups, and individual rights. Recent projects have focused on the uses of psychiatric genetics in civil litigation, such as child custody proceedings; the psychosocial impact of genomic data on adolescents and family relations; social and policy dilemmas in reproductive technologies, gamete donation and the child’s right to know her genetic origin; and disability rights and inclusion, including the politics of international human rights lawmaking. In addition to peer-reviewed articles, she is the author of Children’s Bioethics (2009) and co-editor of Human Rights and Disability Advocacy (2014).
Sabatello’s research is trans-disciplinary, encompassing law (LLB), gender and disability studies, political science (MA, PhD), and postdoctoral training in medical ethics (from Harvard University) and the ethical, legal and social implications of genetics (from Columbia University Medical Center). Her work—and teaching philosophy—is grounded in notions of ethics of care, which embrace an interactive and interdependence approach to human relations. Since 2006, she has taught a range of courses on human rights and health-related topics at NYU, Barnard College, and Columbia’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights.
In addition to research, Sabtello has extensive practical experience. She litigated cases of torts, medical malpractice, and civil rights, and has worked as a legal adviser to governmental, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations (e.g., the UNFPA) to promote health-related and disability rights. As a Permanent Representative for a nongovernmental organization at the United Nations, she participated in the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Sabatello previously chaired the AAAS’s Ethics and Human Rights Working Group, and co-chaired the ASIL’s International Disability Rights Interest Group. She currently serves as a member at various genomic-related committees at Columbia University as well as a member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the national Precision Medicine Initiative, the All of Us Research Program.