137-Comer, Amber

Amber Comer, JD, PhD

Associate Professor, School of Health & Human Sciences

Health Information and Translational Sciences, Room 3100
410 W. 10th St.

Indianapolis , IN 46202-3002
Pubmed Logo


Dr. Amber Comer is an Associate Professor of Health Sciences and Medicine who holds faculty appointments in the School of Health and Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences and the School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Comer is affiliate faculty in the School of Medicine, Center for Bioethics, the RESPECT Center, and the Regenstrief Institute. Dr. Comer also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the McKinney School of Law. In addition to her faculty appointments, Dr. Comer serves on the Eskenazi Hospital Medical Ethics Committee and Ethics Consultation Service. She is also a member of the Indiana University Health Pallaitive Care Clinical Effectiveness Council and the Goals of Care Clinical Effectiveness Council. Dr. Comer serves on the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Public Policy Committee and is the current Past Chair of the Bioethics Sig. 
Dr. Comer is a palliative care researcher and bioethicist who is an expert in medical decision making for hospitalized patients with critical illness. Dr. Comer's sub focus is neuropalliative care. Dr. Comer's research goal is to reduce suffering at the end of life by improving the quality of medical decision making. Her work has been nationally recognized and has been cited in clinical practice guidelines and played a role in changing Indiana's Health Care Consent Law. 
Dr. Comer teaches Ethical Issues in Medical Decision Making, Bioethics and the Law, Ethical Issues in Medical Decision Making in Popular Film, Introduction to Palliative Care, and Health System Delivery.  
Dr. Comer has received numerous awards for her work, including being a finalist for Indy' Best and Brightest (2023), and receiving an Early Career Achievement award from the Indiana University School of Law (2018). Her teaching has been recognized through receipt of the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award (2023) as well as the Indiana University School of Health and Human Sciences Emerging Teaching Award (2018). Dr. Comer was selected as an American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Research Scholar (2018). 
Dr. Comer holds a PhD from the Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health with a minor in Bioethics, a JD from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law with a concentration in Health Law, and she completed a Medical Ethics Fellowship at the Indiana University Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics. Dr. Comer is also a member of the Indiana State Bar. 

Key Publications

  1. Roma P, Fettig L, Pelc G, Jawed A, Comer AR*. Code Status Orders: Do the Options Matter?. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2023; In Press.
  1. Comer AR, Templeton E, Glidden M, Bartlett S, D'Cruz L, Nemati D, Zabel S, Slaven J. National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) Scoring Inconsistencies Between Neurologists and Emergency Room Nurses. Frontiers in Neurology. 2023;13: https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2022.1093392
  1. Comer AR, Williams LS, Bartlett S, D'Cruz L, Endris K, Marchand M, Zepeda I, Toor S, Waite, C, Jawed A, Holloway R, Creutzfeldt CJ, Slaven JE, Torke AM. Palliative and End-of-Life Care After Severe Stroke. JPSM. 2022; Palliative and End-of-Life Care After Severe Stroke - Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (jpsmjournal.com)
  1. Comer AR. The Evolving Ethics of Anatomy: Dissecting an Unethical Past in Order to Prepare for a Future of Ethical Anatomical Practice. The Anatomical Record. 2022; In Press. The evolving ethics of anatomy: Dissecting an unethical past in order to prepare for a future of ethical anatomical practice - Comer - 2022 - The Anatomical Record - Wiley Online Library
  1. ComerAR, Fettig L, Bartlet S, L D'Cruz, Umythachuk, Nina. Physician Self-Reported Use of Empathy in Clinical Practice. Clinical Ethics. 2022; 0(0): doi:10.1177/14777509221096630. Physician self-reported use of empathy during clinical practice - Amber Comer, Lyle Fettig, Stephanie Bartlett, Lynn D’Cruz, Nina Umythachuk, 2022 (sagepub.com)
  1. Organ J, Comer AR, Evolution of a Discipline – The Changing Face of Anatomy. The Anatomical Record. Published online prior to print: Evolution of a discipline—The changing face of anatomy - Organ - 2022 - The Anatomical Record - Wiley Online Library
  1. Comer AR. Williams LS, Bartlett SL, Cruz LE, Torke AM. Medical Decision Making about Long-term Artificial Nutrition after Severe Stroke: A Case Report. Annals of Palliative Medicine. 2021: 10(7):8484-8489. doi:10.21037/apm-20-2094.
  1. Takacs S, Comer AR*. Documentation of Advance Care Planning Forms in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Muscle & Nerve. 2021:65(2):187-192.
  1. Comer AR. The Ethical Allocation of Remdesivire within Hospitals. Journal of Hospital Ethics. 2021;7(2):82-84.
  1. Comer AR, Slaven J, Torke AM. An Educational Video Improves Physician Knowledge of a Health Care Law that Affects Patient Care During Hospital Clinical Practice. J Public Health Res 2021;10:1983.
  1. Bartlett S, Fettig LP, Baenziger PH, DiOrio EN, Herget KM, D’Cruz LD, Coughlin JR, Lake M, Truong A, Comer AR.* Indiana Medical Resident’s Knowledge of Surrogate Decision Making Laws. IQCH. 2021;0(0):1-6. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0272684X211004737
  1. Almojaibel AA, Munk N, Goodfellow LT, Fisher TF, Miller KM, Comer AR, Bakas Y, Justiss MD. Determinants of Telerehabilitation Acceptance among Patients Attending Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs in the United States. S. J. Medicine & Medical Sciences. 2021;9(3):230-234.
  1. Comer AR, Hickman SE, Slaven JE, Monahan PO, Sachs GA, Wocial LD, Burke ES, Torke AM. Discordance between Surrogate Goals of Care and Medical Treatments Received by Hospitalized Older Adults. JAMA Network Open. 2020;3(5):e205179.
  1. Comer AR, Fettig L, Torke AM. Identifying Goals of Care. Medical Clinics of North America. 2020;104(5):767-775.
  1. Comer AR, Apathy N, Waite C, Bestmann Z, Bradshaw J, Burchfield E, Harmon B, Legg R, Meyer S, O'Brien P, Sabec M, Sayeed J, Weaver A, D'Cruz L, Bartlett S, Marchand M, Zepeda I, Finnell JT, Grannis S, Silverman SD, Embi PJ. Electric Scooters (e-scooters): A Threat to Public Health and Safety. Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment. 2020;5(1):1.
  1. Munk N, Church A, Nemati D, Zabel S, Comer AR. Massage perceptions and attitudes of undergraduate pre-professional health sciences students: a cross-sectional survey in one U.S. university. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2020; 20:213.
  1. Almojaibel, A., Munk, N., Goodfellow, L., Fisher, T., Miller, K., Comer, A., Bakas, T., & Justiss, M. Health Care Practitioners’ Determinants of Telerehabilitation Acceptance. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 2020:12(1);43-50. doi:https://doi.org/10.5195/ijt.2020.6308.
  1. Almojaibel AA, Munk N, Goodfellow LT, Fisher TF, Miller KK, Comer AR, Bakas T, Justiss MD. Development and Validation of the Tele-Pulmonary Rehabilitation Acceptance Scale. Respiratory Care. 2020; 12:43-50.
  1. Comer AR, Damush T, Torke, AM, Williams L. The Role of Informed Consent for Thrombolysis in Acute Ischemic Stroke. Journal of Clinical Ethics. 2019;30(4):338-346.
  1. Comer AR. Choosing Death over Suffering: Determining a Standard for Informing Patients about the Possibility of Physician-Aid-in- Dying as an End-of-Life Option. Harvard Medical School Bioethics Journal. 2019. https://bioethicsjournal.hms.harvard.edu/magazine-issue/summer-2019.
  1. Comer AR, Slaven JE, Montz A, Burke E, Inger I, Torke A. Non-traditional Surrogate Decision Makers for Hospitalized Older Adults. Medical Care. 2018;56(4):337-340.
  1. Stone C, Comer AR, Why should I be a peer reviewer? CHIA. 2018;3(2):46-48.
  1. Comer AR, Gaffney M, Stone, C, Torke A. The effect of a state health care consent law on patient care in hospitals: A survey of physicians. Journal of Hospital Administration. 2018;7(2):31-35.
  1. Comer AR, Gaffney M, Stone C, Torke AM. Physician Understanding and Application of Surrogate Decision Making Laws in Clinical Practice. AJOB Empirical Bioethics. 2017;8(3):198-204.
  1. Comer AR, Gaffney M, Stone C, Torke AM. “What do you mean I cannot consent for my grandmother’s medical procedure?”: Key issues with state default surrogate decision making laws. Indiana Health Law Review. 2016;14(2):2-28.
  1. Livorsi D, Comer AR, Matthias M, Perencevich E, Bair M. Barriers to guidelines-concordant antibiotic use among inptaient physicians: a case vignette qualitative study. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2016; 11(3):174-180. 
  1. Comer AR. In the Wake of Wakefield: Establishing Consequences for Journal Failure to Recognize Retracted Research Articles. International Journal of Medical Research Professionals 2015;1(3):1-4.
  1. Livorsi D, Comer AR, Matthias M, Perencevich E, Bair M. Factors Influencing Antibiotic-Prescribing Decisions Among Inpatient Physicians: Qualitative Investigation. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 2015;36(9):1065-1072.


Titles & Appointments

  • Associate Professor, School of Health & Human Sciences
  • Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Adjunct Professor, Robert H. McKinney School of Law
  • Education
    2015 PhD Indiana University
    2011 JD Indiana University
    2006 BA Indiana University

Looking for patient care?

To schedule an appointment with a faculty member physician of IU School of Medicine, contact Indiana University Health at 888-484-3258 or use the physician finder by clicking the button below.

Find a doctor