The Aging Brain: 
Medical, Legal, and Ethical Perspectives 

Friday, December 8, 2017 / 8:30am - 4:45pm
Sandra Day O'Connor United States Courthouse

401 W. Washington St, Phoenix, AZ

Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS,  17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002-2006), Chief of Health Innovations, Canyon Ranch, Distinguished Professor, University of Arizona

Dr. Carmona served as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States and is currently the Chief of Health Innovations at Canyon Ranch. His extensive leadership background in many disciplines includes medicine, law enforcement, the military, public health, higher education, emergency preparedness, and health care management. Within these fields, he has held positions ranging from sheriff and SWAT team leader to RN to trauma surgeon. He also brings a life story of disadvantaged beginnings and an inspiring self-transformation from high school dropout to combat decorated Special Forces veteran. He attended UCSF Medical School where he received the prestigious Gold Headed Cane as the top graduate.

Dr. Carmona is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health, Professor of Surgery and Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Arizona. He serves on numerous government and private boards involving business, health and national security issues. He is also the author of Canyon Ranch’s 30 Days to a Better Brain, a groundbreaking program for improving memory, concentration and overall well-being.

Susan M. Fitzpatrick is President of the James S. McDonnell Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri.

The McDonnell Foundation is one of a limited number of international grant-makers supporting university-based research in biological, behavioral, and complex systems sciences through foundation-initiated programs. As President, Fitzpatrick serves as JSMF’s Chief Executive Officer.

Fitzpatrick received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Neurology from Cornell University Medical College (1984) and pursued post-doctoral training with in vivo NMR spectroscopic studies of brain metabolism/function in the Department of Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics at Yale University.

About the event

This year’s conference will explore scientific, legal, and ethical perspectives on the latest and predicted developments in neuroscience, genetics, and clinical treatment of dementia and aging, and address how these developments could be used to respond more effectively both medically and legally to the predicted epidemic of dementia in the United States.

By 2030, we will have more than 71 million American adults over the age of 65, accounting for about 20% of the United States population. It is predicted that by 2030, about 7.7 million Americans will have dementia due to AD and by 2050, over 14 million will be afflicted. As the average lifespan continues to increase, the medical, social, ethical and legal issues affecting older citizens are becoming increasingly significant. Should the presence of biomarkers be considered a legally relevant brain state, even before some outward behavioral manifestation of disease?  How will the doctrines of “capacity,” “competency,” and liability for injury be affected by AD biomarkers in the domains of contracts, torts and criminal law?   Should AD biomarkers and early detection affect when social disability benefits will be granted? How can we protect against discrimination in employment and insurance in patients who manifest these biomarkers? What are the implications of these developments for estate law, end of life decisions, guardianship law and family law? Given the challenges these scientific developments present, it is a critical time to engage in interdisciplinary dialogues. We will explore these issues in our biannual public conference.

Conference Sponsors