Harvey Fineberg studies medical decisionmaking -- from how we roll out new medical technology, to how we cope with new illnesses and threatened epidemics.
As president of the Institute of Medicine, Harvey Fineberg thinks deeply about new medicine, both its broad possibilities and the moral and philosophical questions that each new treatment brings. How do we decide which treatment to use in a tricky case -- both individually and as a community? Is it fair that the richest hospitals get the best healthcare? Who should bear the risk (and gain the reward) of trying the newest treatments?
Fineberg helped found and served as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making and also served as consultant to the World Health Organization. He was provost of Harvard from 1997 to 2001, following thirteen years as Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health. He has devoted most of his academic career to the fields of health policy and medical decision making. His past research has focused on the process of policy development and implementation, assessment of medical technology, evaluation and use of vaccines, and dissemination of medical innovations.
“Are we at some kind of evolutionary equipoise as a species? Or, are we destined to become something different — something, perhaps, even better adapted to the environment?”
“How would you like to be better than you are? Suppose I said that, with just a few changes in your genes, you could get a better memory — more precise, more accurate and quicker.”