About The Author Joseph J. Fins, MD, MACP is 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 Health Care Policy and Research, and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry. He is the founding Chair of the Ethics Committee of New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center where he is an Attending Physician and the 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 and Rockefeller. At Yale Law School, he is the Solomon Center Distinguished Scholar in Medicine, Bioethics and the Law. He is a past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and former Governor of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Fins is a Member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, an elected Member of 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 Academy of Medicine of Spain).

Photo credit John Abbott

Joseph J. Fins, MD, MACP
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About The Book

Despite advances in neuroscience, the health care system remains mired in decades old notions about treating those who have suffered severe brain injuries.  As a result, the emotional and psychological needs of patients and families are neglected, as is the possibility of helping patients recover to their fullest abilities. The book tells the story of Maggie Worthen, who sustained a brain injury while a senior at Smith College and her mother Nancy’s advocacy. It also explores the legal and ethical issues stemming from brain injury that triggered public debate during the Karen Quinlan case in the 1970s and the more recent controversy surrounding the Terri Schiavo case.​