Fins ’82 Elected to Institute of Medicine

Joseph Fins '82

Dr. Joseph J. Fins ’82, chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. IOM membership is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Announced Oct. 11, at the IOM’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Fins is among 65 new members and four foreign associates elected this year. “Each of these new members stands out as a professional whose research, knowledge, and skills have significantly advanced health and medicine and who has served as a model for others,” said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg in a Cornell press release.

“I am grateful for this honor and for the opportunity to be joining an organization that has done so much for America’s health. I am also especially pleased to have been elected with President Skorton,” says Dr. Fins, chief of the Division of Medical Ethics in the Departments of Public Health and Medicine, professor of medicine, professor of public health and professor of medicine in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. David J. Skorton, president of Cornell University, was also elected to the Institute of Medicine this year.

The Institute of Medicine recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Fins is the author of more than 200 publications in medical ethics and health policy. His most recent book is A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life’s End (Jones and Bartlett, 2006).  His current scholarly interests include ethical and policy issues in brain injury and disorders of consciousness, palliative care, research ethics in neurology and psychiatry, medical education and methods of ethics case consultation. He is a co-author of the 2007 Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state.

Dr. Fins is president-elect of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, a Governor of the American College of Physicians and a member of the Hastings Center Board of Trustees. He is an adjunct faculty member at Rockefeller University and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, The New York Academy of Medicine and The Hastings Center.

The past-chair of the Wesleyan Alumni Association, he has served as a trustee of the University. At Wesleyan, he majored in the College of Letters.