Ethics, Law, and Humanities Committee

Serves as a joint committee of the AAN, ANA, and CNS. Monitors and evaluates evolving ethics, legal, and humanities issues and submits policy recommendations concerning those issues to the AAN, ANA, and CNS Boards of Directors.

Chair: James A. Russell, DO, FAAN

Vice Chair: Leon G. Epstein, MD, FAAN

Staff Liaison: Sarah Bird Nelson, JD, Associate Counsel




The committee chair and vice chair work directly with the committee staff liaison and participate in bimonthly half‐hour conference calls. Members may be asked to join some of these calls, depending on the agenda topics.

  • Committee members are expected to attend the tri‐annual committee meetings. Expectations include familiarization with the subject matter to be discussed at these meetings and contemporary ethical issues in general, active and constructive contributions to these discussions, as well as contributions to other ELHC activities such as authorship and subcommittee participation.
  • ANA and CNS liaisons to the ELHC are expected to keep their organizations apprised of ELHC activities.


Committee members representing the AAN are appointed by the AAN President‐Elect and may serve up to three two‐year terms. Committee members representing the ANA and CNS are appointed by their respective associations and may serve up to three two‐year terms. The committee chair is appointed by the AAN President.

Meeting Schedule
Members are expected to attend three meetings per year. The meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Winter (January or February)
  • AAN Annual Meeting (spring (typically April))
  • Fall (September or October) - Minneapolis

Winter and fall meetings usually require two travel days each.

Estimated Time Commitment
Three meetings per year, plus project‐specific work.

Committee Composition
The Ethics, Law, and Humanities Committee includes the following positions:

  • Chair
  • Vice Chair
  • At least eight AAN representatives
  • At least one, but not more than four, ANA representatives
  • At least one, but not more than four, CNS representatives
  • NITCEE (Neurologist‐in‐Training Clinical Ethics Elective) representative (ex officio‐voting
    member, serves a one‐year term)