Rachel F. Bloom​

Rachel F. Bloom, MS is a second-year doctoral student in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at Fordham University. She earned her Master’s in Bioethics from Columbia University, where her work centered on the moral authority of advance directives in dementia care and resultant implications for clinical treatment junctures. Her current self-directed academic projects explore advance care planning engagement among children of people with dementia, and she has developed material for Fordham’s Center for Ethics Education on participant privacy and confidentiality in eHealth research, therapeutic misconception and goodness-of-fit ethics, vaccine hesitancy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and disability justice critiques of clinical resource-rationing policies. Additional research interests include enhancing well-being in dementia, supporting patient-centered medical decision-making, the lifespan developmental impact of adult illness, and the psychological challenges patients face navigating medical systems. As a member of the Completed Life Initiative team, Rachel contributes to administrative upkeep as well as outreach efforts and programming production. She is currently helping to develop questionnaires to tap attitudes, policies, and experiences around Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking in U.S. long term care facilities, part of a research project led by CLI Board Member David Hoffman. She previously volunteered for End of Life Choices New York from 2018-2019.


Rachel’s current hobbies, as of Winter 2021, include musical dabbling, creative cooking, designing buildings on The Sims, and applying to adopt a dog (please wish me luck!).


“Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”  

– Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor

“We are all human and will necessarily experience death, as well as periods of wellness and illness. These experiences of “being well” and “being ill” are incontrovertibly shaped by societal context, availability of support systems, dominant cultural narratives around medical conditions, and access to adequate resources, above and beyond clinical pathology or “sickness.” Understanding this, it seems ethically unjustifiable to build on systems and societies that only cater to the un-sick; instead, I believe in critically interrogating our existing assumptions around health, sickness, and death, especially engaging with the anti-humanistic idea that health confers moral value. This philosophical orientation shapes the work I do for the Completed Life Initiative and my advocacy in the end of life care space.”