Paul J. Ford, PhD is the Director of the NeuroEthics Program, which conducts cutting-edge scholarly and empirical neuroethics research and develops and promulgates best ethical practices in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases. He is also a member of the Center for Bioethics and has secondary appointments in Neurology and the Center for Neurological Restoration.

Dr. Ford joined the professional staff in the Department of Bioethics at Cleveland Clinic in the spring of 2001. He received a B.A. in Computer Science and Humanities and a B.S. in Mathematics from Walla Walla University in 1995. Subsequently, he received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University while participating in a two year transplantation ethics fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Ford currently holds an appointment of Associate Professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case. He actively teaches medical students, residents, and fellows, and was awarded a year long Educational Fellowship from the Cleveland Clinic Division of Education in 2009. He has been active in ethics consultation since arriving at Cleveland Clinic and has performed approximately 1,600 ethics consultation cases primarily using an individual consultant model.

Dr. Ford’s primary research interests focus on ethical issues raised by neurosurgical interventions. He works closely with the Deep Brain Stimulator Team and the Epilepsy Surgery Team. He has co-edited two books and is the author of more than seventy publications. These include authorship in journal articles that have appeared in Science, The Hastings Center Report, Neurology, Neuromodulation, and Journal of Medical Ethics as well as book chapters, and invited editorials (see CV for full list here). In terms of professional service, he has presented to the Board on Health Sciences Policy at the Institute of Medicine, served on editorial boards as a peer-reviewer, and has been an organizer of international conferences. He lectures nationally and internationally on a range of issues that include neuro-ethics, clinical ethics consultation, transplantation ethics, and engineering-computer ethics.

Publications (Select)

Entire publication list can be found here.

Farrell RM, Agatisa PK, Michie MM, Greene A, Ford PJ. The personal utility of
cfDNA screening: Pregnant patients' experiences with cfDNA screening and views on
expanded cfDNA panels. J Genet Couns. 2020 Feb;29(1):88-96. doi:
10.1002/jgc4.1183. Epub 2019 Nov 3. PubMed PMID: 31680382.

Feldman SL, DeMarco JP, Stewart DO, Ford PJ. A Taxonomy and an Ethicist's
Toolbox: Mapping a Plurality of Normative Approaches. Am J Bioeth. 2019
Nov;19(11):78-80. doi: 10.1080/15265161.2019.1665739. PubMed PMID: 31661404.

Mabel H, Ford PJ. A Working Un-Conference to Advance Innovations Among
Clinical Ethics Programs. J Clin Ethics. 2019 Fall;30(3):247-250. PubMed PMID:

Sankary LR, Ford PJ, Machado AG, Hoeksema LJ, Samala RV, Harris DJ. Deep Brain
Stimulation at End of Life: Clinical and Ethical Considerations. J Palliat Med.
2020 Apr;23(4):582-585. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2019.0129. Epub 2019 Aug 12. PubMed
PMID: 31403368; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7104899.

Bennett LL, Arias JJ, Ford PJ, Bernick C, Banks SJ. Concussion reporting and
perceived knowledge of professional fighters. Phys Sportsmed. 2019
Sep;47(3):295-300. doi: 10.1080/00913847.2018.1552481. Epub 2018 Dec 11. PubMed
PMID: 30479188; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6536361.


Cleveland FES Center

Director, NeuroEthics Program, Department of Bioethics
Cleveland Clinic


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Paul Ford, PhD

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