Staff Collaborate Conference Room

Garson Leder, PhD

Garson Leder, PhD

Garson Leder, PhD

Assistant Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities


  • Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

Contact Information


Dr. Leder joined MCW in 2021 as an assistant professor of bioethics and medical humanities in the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities in the Institute for Health & Equity. Dr. Leder received his PhD from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) with a focus on philosophy of medicine (especially psychiatry). Prior to joining MCW, Dr. Leder was a Clinical Ethics Fellow at the Alden March Bioethics Institute in the Albany Medical College.

Dr. Leder’s research program focuses on what mental disorders are, and how different conceptions of ‘mental disorder’ affect medical treatment, social attitudes, and patients’ understandings of their conditions and their prospects of recovery. Dr. Leder’s dissertation, 'The Skill of Mental Health' defends a novel skill-based view that combats stigma and prognostic pessimism while vindicating widely shared intuitions about what should count as a ‘disorder’. Dr. Leder’s work applies this skill view of mental health to address long-standing debates about the concepts of health and disorder, the scientific status of clinical psychology, and the role of values in medicine.

In addition, Dr. Leder’s work examines theoretical explanations for mental healing and how the acceptance of these explanations affects mental health service users. Dr. Leder has published and presented research on the theoretical foundations of cognitive behavioral therapy, the relationship between theory and therapy in treatment, the mechanisms of change in psychotherapy, and informed consent in psychotherapy.

Finally, Dr. Leder’s third area of focus is clinical ethics. Dr. Leder works as a clinical ethicist at Froedtert Hospital and serves on multiple affiliated ethics committees. Dr. Leder is currently involved in empirical and conceptual research on decisional capacity, medically inappropriate treatment, and informed consent.