Conference Materials


Joseph J. Fins, MD, MACP, FRCP

Fins photois The E. William Davis, Jr. M.D. Professor of Medical Ethics and Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College where he is a Tenured Professor of Medicine, Professor of Medical Ethics in Neurology, Professor of Medical Ethics in Rehabilitation Medicine, Professor of Health Care Policy and Research, and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry. He the founding Chair of the Ethics Committee of New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center where he is an Attending Physician and Director of Medical Ethics. A member of the Adjunct Faculty of Rockefeller University and Senior Attending Physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital, he co-directs, the Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury (CASBI) at Weill Cornell Medicine and Rockefeller. In 2014, he served as the Dwight H. Terry Visiting Scholar in Bioethics and Visiting Professor in the History of Medicine at Yale. In 2015, he was appointed the Solomon Center Distinguished Scholar in Medicine, Bioethics and the Law at Yale Law School.

Dr. Fins is an elected Member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an Academico de Honor (Honored Academic) of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina de España (the Royal National Academy of Medicine of Spain).

A recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, Dr. Fins has also received a Soros Open Society Institute Project on Death in America Faculty Scholars Award, a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Visiting Fellowship and support from the Dana, Buster and Katz Foundations as well as the National Institutes of Health, amongst others. 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 gubernatorial appointment. In 2015, Dr. Fins received the Patricia Price Browne Prize in Biomedical Ethics from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine.

Dr. Fins was graduated from Wesleyan University (B.A. with Honors, The College of Letters, 1982) and Cornell University Medical College (M.D., 1986). He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and has served as Associate for Medicine at The Hastings Center. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and was recertified in 2012.

The author of over 350 publications, his most recent book is Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics and The Struggle for Consciousness (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Dr. Fins is also the author of A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life’s End (Jones and Bartlett, 2006) and a co-author of the 2007 Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state. He also co-orignated clinical pragmatism as a method of moral problem solving for medicine. His current scholarly interests include ethical and policy issues in brain injury and disorders of consciousness, civil and disability rights for individuals with severe brain injury, palliative care, research ethics in neurology and psychiatry, medical education, methods of ethics case consultation, the history of medicine, and bioethics in the Spanish-speaking world.

Dr. Fins is an associate editor of the 4th Edition of the Encyclopedia of Bioethics and the Journal of Clinical Ethics. He sits on the editorial boards of: The Hastings Center Report; The Pharos Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society; The Oncologist; Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, BioMed Central Medical Ethics; Neuroethics, American Journal of Bioethics; and Neuromodulation as well as the MIT Basic Bioethics Series.

A Past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, he is a member of Board of Trustees of The Hastings Center and the International Neuroethics Society. He is a Master, and past Governor, of the American College of Physicians, has been honored with the College’s Laureate Award and served as a trustee of the American College of Physicians Foundation. He is a Trustee Emeritus of Wesleyan University, which has honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Dr. Fins is a Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians (London), The Hastings Center and The New York Academy of Medicine where he served as a Fellow Ambassador. He was appointed to the Council of the Europaische Akademie (Germany) and is an elected member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, the American Clinical and Climatological Association and Alpha Omega Alpha.


Thomas V. Caprio, MD

Fins photoDr. Caprio is a certified hospice medical director with over 10 years of experience in the field and is board certified physician in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine. He oversees the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center which provides regional health professions training focusing on the care of older adults with chronic illness and with palliative care needs. Dr. Caprio is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, Fellow of the American Geriatrics Society and a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He teaches nationally on the topic of geriatric palliative care, authored multiple journal articles related to end-of-life care in nursing homes, and is a co-author of the Primer of Palliative Care published by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.


Cary Reid, MD, PhD

Fins photoDr. Cary Reid is an Associate Professor and Director of the Office of Geriatric Research in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Reid obtained his medical degree from the University of South Carolina. He subsequently completed internship, residency, and chief-residency training at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. He completed fellowship training in both clinical epidemiology and geriatric medicine at Yale University. Dr. Reid taught, and conducted research at Yale University before joining the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College in 2003. Dr. Reid has received many research awards over the years, including a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Scholar Award and a highly coveted Paul Beeson Faculty Scholar on Aging Research Award. He is also a section editor of the journal Pain Medicine.


Bridging Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
Running an Interprofessional Palliative Hospital Consult Service
Maternal Mortality: The Race to Achieve Equity in the 21st Century
Unique Approaches to Pediatric Palliative Patients
New Approaches to Meeting Palliative Care Needs in the Community

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