Rebecca Brendel, M.D.


Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
Psychiatrist
Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Director of the Master in Bioethics
Harvard Medical School
Physician Investigator (Cl)
Psychiatry, Mass General Research Institute
MD University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine 2000
confidentiality; decisional incapacity; ethics; expert testimony; health insurance portability and accountability act; human rights; informed consent; interprofessional relations; liability legal; malpractice; medicine and law; mental competency; patient advocacy; patient rights; psychosomatic medicine; suicide Dr. Brendel is an active teacher about legal and ethical topics in psychiatry, medicine, human rights, and law and has published on these topics.  She evaluates clients involved in a wide array of criminal and civil proceedings, maintains a clinical practice, and specializes in evaluation of individuals with comorbid medical and psychiatric issues.

Dr. Brendel is a member of a specialized interdisciplinary medical team at Massachusetts General Hospital that provides treatment to patients with complex psychosocial problems, including dementia, mental illness, homelessness, substance abuse, decisional incapacity, lack of community support, and poverty.  She is also responsible for oversight of the clinical assessment of patients’ decisional and functional capacity prior to initiation of guardianship proceedings for inpatients at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Brendel’s experience in psychiatry and law also includes participation in a working group to amend the Illinois Mental Health Code, six years of service as Chair of the Human Rights Committee at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, and participation in the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court’s implementation of new guardianship law in 2009.  Dr. Brendel serves on the Ethics Committee of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and chairs the Standards and Ethics Committee of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine.  She is an elected Councilor of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society.