Medical Ethics Division News


April - May 2010

Honors, Awards, and Appointments

Dr. Joseph Fins Awarded Tenure
Joseph J. Fins, MD, FACP, Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine, Professor of Public Health and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry, has been awarded Tenure in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Fins became Chief of the newly established Division of Medical Ethics, a joint division in the Departments of Public Health and Medicine, in 2001. Since then he has built a division that has become world-renowned for its research and advocacy in areas such as end-of-life care and brain injury and neuroethics. Under Dr. Fins’ leadership, the division has greatly expanded and earned recognition for its education and training programs for medical and graduate students, fellows, faculty, and house staff. He has also developed and formalized the division’s services in clinical and research ethics offered through NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC). More about Dr. Fins.

Dr. Fins Named to CTSC National Center Working Group
Dr. Fins was also named to the Consultation Working Group of the Clinical Research Ethics Key Function Committee of the Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC)/National Center for Resources. The Committee promotes high standards for clinical research ethics and research integrity across the full spectrum of CTSC activities. “This is a fitting honor for Dr. Fins and a recognition of his longstanding work and advocacy in the field of clinical research ethics, both within and outside of the Medical Center.” said Julianne Imperato-McGinley MD, Associate Dean for Translational Research and Education, Director of the Weill Cornell CTSC, and Professor and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. “The committee will benefit greatly from his experience, insight, drive, and creativity.” Dr. Fins is also Director of the Ethics Core of the Weill Cornell CTSC.

Lectures, Presentations, and Events

Dr. Joseph Fins is Featured Speaker at Neuroethics Conferences
Joseph J. Fins, MD, FACP, Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine, Professor of Public Health and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry, was the featured speaker at a conference titled "Not So Silent Minds: Neuroethics and Disorders of Consciousness," held April 13, 2010, at Salisbury University in Maryland.

Dr. Fins also gave a talk titled “Deep Brain Stimulation and the Scientific Commons: Evolving Patterns of Inclusion & Exclusion" at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience of the College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, PA, on May 6, 2010. 

Recent Presentations by Dr. Victor Sidel
Victor W. Sidel, MD, Distinguished University Professor of Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and Adjunct Professor of Public Health in the Division of Medical Ethics, gave several recent public health presentations:

  • Dr. Sidel delivered the Keynote Address on the "Health Consequences of War: Diversion of Resources" on April 24 at the conference on "War and Global Health" at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. The event was sponsored by UW and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
  • He chaired the "Expert Briefing on the Medical and Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War" on May 5 at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Review Conference at the United Nations in New York City.
  • He presented testimony on May 11 on behalf of the Public Health Association of NYC in support of the Paid Sick Time Act at the New York City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor at City Hall.
  • He will give a presentation on the "Health Consequences of War: Diversion of Resources" on June 2 at the David Rogers Health Policy Colloquium at Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Faculty Promotion

Soumitra Eachempati, MD, has been promoted to Professor of Surgery and Professor of Public Health in the Division of Medical Ethics. He is also an Attending Surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Eachempati received his medical degree from Northwestern University and completed his general surgery internship and residency at Wayne State University. He completed a fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at Duke University Hospital and was appointed Instructor of Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine. He joined Weill Cornell Medical College in 1998. Dr. Eachempati participated in the Faculty Associates Program in the Division of Medical Ethics. He teaches medical ethics in the medical college’s Medicine, Patients and Society II course and has collaborated on conflict resolution in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit with Division Chief Joseph Fins, MD. He also studies the ethical treatment of critically ill surgical patients in regards to end-of-life care. Dr. Eachempati was one of a group of surgeons and physicians who recently traveled to Haiti after the earthquake to provide urgent lifesaving treatment.

Media and Publicity

Special CP Snow Issue of Technology in Society Featured in Press Release
The special issue of Technology in Society (Volume 32, Issue 1, January 2010) exploring the legacy of C.P. Snow on the 50th anniversary of his landmark book, Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, was featured in a Medical College press release. The special issue was edited by Joseph J. Fins, MD, FACP, Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine, Professor of Public Health and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry, and Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, PhD, MS, Associate Professor of Public Health in the Division of Medical Ethics. Drs. Fins and de Melo-Martin were also among the contributors to the issue, which grew out of the Division of Medical Ethics 2008-2009 seminar series on the same topic.

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