Alexander A. Kon is the Inpatient Medical Director at Community Children’s and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California San Diego. He is a pediatric intensivist and bioethicist, and has held numerous national leadership positions including serving as the President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), Lead of the US Military Health System Healthcare Ethics Working Group, Co-Chair of the US Defense Health Agency Healthcare Ethics Consultation Service, and Chair of the Pediatric Research Ethics Workgroup and of the Clinical Research Ethics Key Function Committee of the NCRR Clinical and Translational Science Award Consortium.
Dr. Kon’s creative work focuses primarily on decision-making for critically ill infants, children, and adults. He was the lead author of the joint SCCM-ATS statement on shared decision-making and of the SCCM statement defining futile and inappropriate treatment. Perhaps Dr. Kon is best known for introducing the concept of informed nondissent, in which doctors bear the burden of making difficult choices when surrogates prefer to cede authority. This novel concept has been endorsed by major healthcare organizations and is being adopted nationally. Furthermore, his work on Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome set the standard for informed consent in the care of affected infants. Dr. Kon has published over 100 papers and book chapters focusing on decision-making in the care of critically ill patients as well as other topics in bioethics and clinical medicine.