WFU hosts year-long seminar series on bioethics

Sally ShumakerBeginning this fall, Wake Forest University will host “Curing and Caring: The Present State and Future of Bioethics in America,” a year-long seminar series featuring nationally and internationally-known researchers and specialists speaking on the study of ethical issues in biology and medicine. The events will be held on the university’s Reynolda and Bowman Gray campuses. They are free and open to the public.

The series is sponsored by the university’s Bioethics Task Force, a group dedicated to bringing awareness to the university and local community about ethical issues in biology and medicine. Sally Shumaker, co-chair of the task force, says she hopes the series will stimulate an informed dialogue in the community.

“We must be aware of and confront the difficult ethical questions coming from the rapid development in the world of medicine and biomedical science today,” said Shumaker, who is also director of cross-campus programs for the university.

The series begins Sept. 26 with Terrance McConnell, professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an expert in biomedical ethics and ethical theory. McConnell is the author of “Inalienable Rights: The Limits of Consent in Medicine and the Law” and “Moral Issues in Health Care.” He also is a founding member of the ethics committee for the Moses Cone Health Care System.

Other speakers in the series include Allen Buchanan, professor of philosophy and public policy at Duke University’s Sanford Institute; David Orentlicher, Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law and co-director of the Center for Law and Health at Indiana University; Norman Daniels, professor of ethics and population health at Harvard University; and Rebecca Dresser, Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law at Washington University.

Additional speakers are being decided on by the task force and will be announced at a later date.

Buchanan is director of the Consortium on Pharmacogenetics, a group created to promote a balanced and informed approach to ethical and regulatory issues in the study of genetic variation and drug response. He was also staff philosopher for the President’s commission on Medical Ethics, where he was a principal author of the commission’s two book-length reports on ethical issues in genetics. From 1996 to 2000 he was a member of the Advisory Council for the National Human Genome Research Institute. His most recent book is “Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination: Moral Foundations for International Law.”

Orentlicher is the author of “Matters of Life and Death” and co-author of “Health Care Law and Ethics.” He previously was director of the Division of Medical Ethics at the American Medical Association and from 1992-1995 served on the founding board of the American Association of Bioethics.

Daniels has been a consultant on issues of justice and health policy for the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine. In 1993, he was a member of the Ethics Working Group of President Clinton’s White House Health Care Task Force.

Dresser is one of 17 scientists, physicians and ethicists on President Bush’s Bioethics Council. She is the author of “When Science Offers Salvation: Patient Advocacy and Research Ethics.” She was the primary writer of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Ethics Committee’s 2000 statement, “Financial Incentives in Recruitment of Oocyte Donors.” She is also on the Core Research Team for the Greenwall Foundation’s project, Pediatric Research Ethics: A Multidisciplinary Analysis.

“Curing and Caring: The Present State and Future of Bioethics in America” is part of the university’s Year of Health and Medicine, which celebrates the Centennial of Wake Forest’s School of Medicine. It is funded in part by a grant from the university’s Fund for Ethics and Leadership.

For more information, call 336-716-3589.

Series Schedule

Sept. 26 4 p.m.
Terrance McConnell will discuss confidentiality in medicine. Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium. Reynolda Campus. Reception to follow.

Oct. 15 4 p.m.
Allen Buchanan will discuss regulatory issues in pharmacogenetics. Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium. Reynolda Campus. Reception to follow.

Nov. 21 Time TBA.
David Orentlicher. Topic TBA. Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium. Reynolda Campus. Reception to follow.

Feb. 21 1 p.m.
Norman Daniels will discuss justice and health. Babcock Auditorium. Bowman Gray Campus. Reception to follow.

May 8 3 p.m.
Rebecca Dresser will discuss research ethics. Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium. Reynolda Campus. Reception to follow.

Categories: Events, Speakers