Joseph Fins, MD -- Professor of Medical Ethics; Chief, Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine; Professor of Medical Ethics in Neurology and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and Co-Director, CASBI-Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury at Weill Cornell and Rockefeller University -- treated eleventh and twelfth graders in Ron Schollenberger's Bioethics class to a lively, thought-provoking discussion. Dr. Fins shared the experiences and insights he gained from his many years of research studying the nature of human consciousness and various medical disorders of consciousness such as the Vegetative State, the Minimally Conscious State and Locked-In Syndrome.
Much of his presentation focused on the various bioethical and policy issues associated with patients with severe brain injuries and disorders of consciousness, the civil rights of these patients and the ethics that are followed when performing neurological and psychiatric research. Dr. Fins' passion for his work and his commitment to helping patients who can't speak for themselves was quite evident, and these traits hopefully served to motivate my students to continue to pursue the study of Bioethics in the future.
We are grateful that Dr. Fins was able to take the time to visit our class, and we hope to see him next year. To become more familiar with Dr. Fins' work, please read one of his many books, the most recent is Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics and the Struggle for Consciousness, or watch one of his lectures/interviews on YouTube.