Edward Lowenstein, MD
- 1959 M.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- 1997-1998 Fellowship in Medical Ethics, Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- 1960-1963 Resident and Chief Resident in Anesthesia, Massachusetts General Hospital
Edward Lowenstein is the Distinguished Henry Isaiah Dorr Professor of Anaesthesia and Professor of Medical Ethics in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. He was the Founding Chief of the MGH Cardiac Anesthesia Group in 1969 and founding Director at MGH of the world’s first fellowship in cardiac anesthesia.
As Provost of the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, he shepherds the promotions for the 155-member faculty through the arcane Harvard Medical School promotion process and provides mentoring and career guidance. He is Chair of the Academic Appointments and Promotions Committee of the MGH DACC and serves on the Education and Residency Recruitment Committees.
Dr. Lowenstein became a fellow in medical ethics in order to gain clarity on End of Life Care and the involvement of physicians in it. This was stimulated by the apparent abandonment of patients who were left with suffering they considered worse than dying after cardiac surgery and/or intensive care. Though still active in this area, his emphasis has shifted to social determinants of health, a direct result of being introduced to the social medicine community through the fellowship. He has become an advocate for spending far less money in the USA on medical care and expending the freed up funds to enhance social determinants of health. Seemingly one third of the over two trillion dollars per year spent on so called “health care” is devoted to profit, administration, and ineffective or harmful interventions. His readings in the field have convinced him that health in the USA would be markedly enhanced by this change. Some of the freed-up funds would be expended on providing universal access to health care at the same time, as this also is an important determinant of health.
In the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Dr. Lowenstein has served on the Appointments and Promotions Committee and the Metrics and Evaluation of Scholarship Committee. The goals of these committees are to meet the challenges of fitting the activities of Department members into the new promotion criteria. These criteria appear to be crafted to enable metrics to be developed and adopted that will encompass the crucial but for HMS unconventional academic activities Department members participate in and lead.
Dr. Lowenstein was founding Chair of the Annual Harvard Medical Student Henry K. Beecher Ethics Award for the outstanding essay on any aspect of medical ethics. After a decade of service, he relinquished that position.
- Lowenstein E, Hallowell P, Levine FH, Daggett WM, Austen WG, Laver MB. Cardiovascular response to large doses of intravenous morphine in man. N Engl J Med 1969;281:1389 93.
- Lowenstein E, Wanzer SH. The U.S. Attorney General’s intrusion into medical practice. N Eng J Med 2002; 346:447-8.
- Lowenstein, E. The birth of opioid anesthesia. Anesthesiology 2004;100: 1013-15.
- Lowenstein, E. Cardiac anesthesiology, professionalism and ethics: A microcosm of anesthesiology and medicine. Anesth Analg. 2004; 98:927-34.
- Amici Curiae (only physician on the writing committee) In the Supreme Court of the United States: Brief of Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents, Gonzales V State of Oregon. No. 04-623. 7/2005.
- Lowenstein E, McPeek B, eds. Enduring Contributions of Henry K. Beecher to Medicine, Science, and Society. Kluwer/Lippincott, 2007-2008 (International anesthesiology Clinics, v. 45, no. 4 and v. 46, no.1).
- Fitzsimons MG, Baker KH, Lowenstein E, Zapol WM. Random Drug Testing to Reduce the Incidence of Addiction in Anesthesia. Residents: Preliminary Results from One Program. Anesth Analg 107 (2):603-5, 2008 Aug.