NeuroEthics

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The mission of the NeuroEthics Program is to conduct cutting-edge neuroethics research, both scholarly and empirical, provide the highest level of training in clinical neuroethics and develop and promulgate best ethical practices in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases that include provision of ethics services to patients, families, and care providers.

International NeuroEthics Conference

Brain Matters 3: Values at the Crossroads of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Psychology

Thank you to everyone to attended and made the Brain Matters 3 conference an overwhelming success.  

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For more information, please contact Paul Ford, PhD at fordp@ccf.org.


Cleveland Clinic's NeuroEthics Program (NEP-CC) is housed in the Department of Bioethics, but constitutes a partnership between the Neurological Institute and the Department of Bioethics, with faculty from both areas. Paul J. Ford, PhD serves as the Director of the NEP with Jalayne Arias, PhD, MA serving as Associate Director of Neuroethics Research.

Great need exists to address the emerging ethical challenges faced by patients, families, caretakers, researchers and clinicians related to brain-based diseases. This is particularly true given the increasing incidence of brain based diseases and the resulting world wide burden of suffering and disability. In the NeuroEthics Program at Cleveland Clinic, we approach these ethical challenges in a practical manner starting from the problems that arise in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions. We undertake research, education and clinical support through collaborations with clinicians, clinical researchers and bioethicists.

If you are a resident or fellow considering Cleveland Clinic for a Neurology Residency or Fellowship and would like to continue your studies in Ethics, please contact Paul Ford, PhD at fordp@ccf.org.

NeuroEthics Program Faculty

The NeuroEthics Program faculty provides clinical ethics consultation services within Cleveland Clinic to patients, families, clinicians, and researchers. Further, we are actively involved on a national and international level regarding various neuroethics related work.

Other functions in Clinical NeuroEthics:

  • Consent monitor for clinical research
  • Participation in specialized patient management conferences including conferences for Epilepsy Surgery and Deep Brain Stimulation highlighting patient selection and challenging patient care issues
  • Frequently consulted on specific inpatient and outpatient neurosurgical issues: called on over twenty times per year to consult on specific inpatient/outpatient surgical issues

The NeuroEthics Program faculty undertakes research from a variety of perspectives that range from primarily scholarly and to primarily empirical. Below is a list of recent publications and projects.

Active Grants»

Recent Publications »

Conference Posters»

NeuroEthics Education Program

The NeuroEthics Program Faculty provide education in a number of venues that range from institutional efforts to international presentations. The program provides teaching of Cleveland Clinic residents, medical students and fellows with the opportunities for a one month rotation specializing in Neurology. We collaborate with the Neurological Institute residents and fellows and teach conferences developing a unique case write-up method of teaching, and we provide the opportunity for students to collaborate with research projects. This includes a new series of interactive lectures by senior clinicians reflecting on their ethical lessons learned on practice and research. Below is a list of recent and upcoming events.

NeuroEthics Conferences and Symposia

Past Conference Presentations

International NeuroEthics ConferenceBrain Matters 3: Values at the Crossroads of Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychology
October 24-25, 2012
Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center  

Brain Machine Interfaces – Implications for Science, Clinical Practice and Society Symposium

Ystad Saltsjobad, Sweden
August 2010
Paul J. Ford, PhD presented ”Ethics of Control and consent in Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease

ASBH Annual Meeting

San Diego, California
October 2010
Paul J. Ford, PhD presented “Interactive Mentored Reflection: Progressing Case Based Teaching of Ethics for Residents

Cambridge University Press

New York, NY
April 2010
Paul J. Ford, PhD presented “Mentored Reflective Learning

ASBH Annual Meeting

Minneapolis, Minnesota
October 2011
Paul J. Ford presented: "Quality of Life Surgeries, Patient Values, and Data: Epilepsy Surgery as a Paradigm.

American Epilepsy Society

Baltimore, Maryland
December 2011
Paul J. Ford is presenting: "Ethics and Patient Centered Epilepsy Surgery Outcomes."


If you are a resident or fellow considering Cleveland Clinic for a Neurology Residency or Fellowship and would like to continue your studies in Ethics, please contact Paul Ford at fordp@ccf.org.

  • Steven Schiff, MD, PhD, Director, Penn State University, Center for Neural Engineering delivered a Distinguished NeuroEthics Lecture on October 20, 2011. He spoke on the topic of: "From Neurosurgery to Neonatal Sepsis: Ethical Reflections on Dung, Technology, and Public Policy."
  • ASBH Annual Meeting: Six individuals participated in the main program regarding NeuroEthics.
  • NIH Challenge Grant awarded to Paul J. Ford, PhD and Cynthia Kubu, PhD for study of ethics and control in DBS and Parkinsons. For more details see NeuroEthics Research.
  • Greenwall Foundation Grant awarded to Paul J. Ford, PhD and Cynthia Kubu, PhD for study of ethics control in epilepsy patients undergoing epilepsy surgery. For more details see NeuroEthics Research.
  • Cynthia Kubu, PhD is the participant in an international and interdisciplinary project group on ethical issues in "Deep Brain Stimulation in Psychiatry." Organization: Europaische Akademie

Distinguished Neuroethics Lectures Series

The Distinguished Neuroethics Lecture Series provides an opportunity to have a well respected leader in the Neurosciences field share their reflections on ethical lessons. Sharing these open and honest reflections provide an opportunity for other clinicians and researchers to learn and evaluate their own experiences.

The speakers have been asked to reflect on the three most important ethical lessons they have learned in their practice/research and the most important ethical dilemma currently facing their field.  

Past Lectures

June 16, 2010 – Inaugural Speaker

Roberta Bondar, PhD, MD, OC, O.Ont, FRCP(C), FRSC
Trust, Relationships, & Knowing Limits: Ethical reflections of a neurologist, researcher, astronaut.
Astronaut on the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, January 22-30, 1992
Neurologist
Recipient of the Order of Canada

October 20, 2011

Steven Schiff, MD, PhD
From Neurosurgery to Neonatal Sepsis: Ethical Reflections on Dung Technology, and Public Policy
Director, Penn State Center for Neural Engineering
Brush Chair Professor of Engineering
Professor of Neurosurgery

March 13, 2012

James Rutka, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS, FAAP
Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery
Neurosurgeon, Division of Neurosurgery
Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery


The Center welcomes donations to support this and future lecture series, if interested, please contact Paul Ford at fordp@ccf.org.

Continuing the tradition of Brain Matters conferences held in 2009 and 2011, this conference is designed to support and stimulate the emerging field of neuroethics. A primary theme will be ethical dilemmas posed by conditions without an identifiable biological correlate in both research and clinical settings.

Co-sponsored By

Cleveland Clinic NeuroEthics Program, Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Center & an NIH conference grant (Award#  R13NS080513) from the National Institute Of Neurological disorders and Stroke (NINDS), Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD), and Office of the Director (OD).

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute Of Neurological Disorders And Stroke of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R13NS080513. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Endorsed By

International Neuroethics Society

Brain Matters 3: Values at the Crossroads of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Psychology

October 24-25, 2012
Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center
127 Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio

Brain Matters 3 Full Program

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