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October 01, 2019

Jason Karlawish

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging welcomes five new appointments for the 2019-2020 term. We are thankful for the contributions of those whose terms have ended, and we look forward to continuing and advancing meaningful work with our new and current commissioners.

We'd like our readers to get to know our new commissioners: Judith Feder; Hon. Lauren Holland; Jason Karlawish, MD; Casey Ross; and Dominic Vorv. 

Jason Karlawish, MD

Jason Karlawish is a professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy, and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, and cares for patients at the Penn Memory Center, which he co-directs. He leads the Penn Program for Precision Medicine for the Brain (P3MB), which developed standards for Alzheimer’s disease biomarker disclosure and investigates the clinical impact on individuals and their families. He has investigated the development and translation of Alzheimer’s disease treatments and biomarker-based diagnostics, informed consent, quality of life, research and treatment decision-making, and voting by persons with cognitive impairment and residents of long-term care facilities. He is the author of Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont, a novel based on true events along the 19th century American frontier. He is currently writing a book on how Alzheimer’s disease became a crisis and the steps needed to address it. Dr. Karlawish studied medicine at Northwestern University and trained in internal medicine and geriatric medicine at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago.


Why did you decide to join the Commission?

The Commission is the nation’s thought leader on the important, and sometimes vexing, issues at the intersections of law and aging. As a physician dedicated to the care of older adults with disabling cognitive and behavioral problems caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s, the Commission is a marvelous opportunity to help these persons and their families. Besides, working with Charlie Sabatino and his team is consistently a blast.

What do you hope to bring to the Commission, and what do you hope to accomplish?

I bring an open mind and a hope to learn and to contribute.

Has the Commission impacted your work, and if so, how?

The Commission’s work on voting rights, capacity assessment and guardianship have been critical to advancing my ideas and boosting the impact of my work.