Thursday, April 24, 2008

Joseph Fins
Joseph Jack Fins, M.D.,F.A.C.P.' (b. 1959) is Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics ( at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College where he serves as Professor of Medicine, Professor of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry. Dr. Fins is also a member of the Adjunct Faculty of Rockefeller University and has served as Associate for Medicine at The Hastings Center. He was appointed by President Clinton to The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and currently serves on The New York State Task Force on Life and the Law by appointment of Governor Eliot Spitzer.
Dr. Fins' scholarship in medical ethics and health policy has focused on palliative care, rational approaches to ethical dilemmas and the development of "clinical pragmatism" as a method of moral problem-solving drawing upon the American pragmatic tradition of William James and John Dewey. His more recent work has been in neuorethics and disorders of consciousness following severe brain injury. He was a co-author of the landmark Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state.
Dr. Fins has been a Visiting Professor in Medical Ethics at The Complutense University in Madrid and Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. He is a recipient of a Soros Open Society Institute Project on Death in America Faculty Scholars Award, a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Visiting Fellowship and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. (
Dr. Fins received a B.A. (College of Letters with Honors) from Wesleyan University in 1982 and an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1986. After an internship at the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, Dr. Fins completed his internal medicine residency training and fellowship in general internal medicine at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. He is the author of "A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life's End" published by Jones and Bartlett (2006).(
A practicing internist at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Fins is a Governor of the American College of Physicians and on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. He has been a Trustee of Wesleyan University and served on the board of The Fund for Modern Courts and New York's Attorney General's Commission on Quality Care at the End of Life. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, The Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, The Oncologist and BioMed Central Medical Ethics.
Dr. Fins is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the New York Academy of Medicine.