Paul Appelbaum

  • Elizabeth K Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine & Law

Paul S. Appelbaum, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and director of the Division of Psychiatry, Law, and Ethics in the Department of Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.

Appelbaum previously served as the A.F. Zeleznik Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, and director of the Law and Psychiatry Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is the author of many articles and books on law and ethics in clinical practice, including four that were awarded the Manfred S. Guttmacher Award from the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law: the third edition of The Clinical Handbook of Psychiatry and the Law (with Thomas G. Gutheil, M.D.) (2000); Almost a Revolution: Mental Health Law and the Limits of Change (with Thomas Grisso, Ph.D.) (1994); Assessing Competence to Consent to Treatment: A Guide for Physicians and Other Healthcare Professionals (1998); and Rethinking Risk Assessment (with John Monahan, Ph.D., et. al.) (2001).

Appelbaum is past president of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society. He serves as chair of the Council on Psychiatry and Law for the American Psychiatric Association. He was previously chair of the Commission on Judicial Action for the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mental Health and the Law. Appelbaum is currently a member of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Mandatory Outpatient Treatment. He has received the Isaac Ray Award of the American Psychiatric Association, was the Fritz Redlich Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Appelbaum is a graduate of Columbia College. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and completed his residency in psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston. His research interests include informed consent, decisional competence, research ethics, prediction and management of violence by persons with mental illnesses, coercion in medical treatment and research, and other aspects of law and ethics in medicine.