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THURSDAY, October 16, 2003

Welcome and Opening Remarks

CHAIRMAN KASS:  Good morning.  Welcome to this, the 14th meeting of the President's Council on Bioethics.  Welcome to members of the Council, welcome to staff, welcome, membesr of the public.

This is the 14th meeting in 21 months, a rather hectic pace, and I want to thank all members of the Council for their heroic work in the weeks preceding this meeting on the multiple documents that we sent your way and for your careful attention and comments.

I recognize the presence of Dean Clancy, our Executive Director and Designated Federal Officer, in whose presence this is a legal meeting.

There are two announcements on the subject of renewal.  As I believe I mentioned in the memo to you, the Council has been renewed, I believe, for good behavior in an executive order signed on the 17th of September, announced in the Federal Register on the 23rd.  We, along with a whole host of other advisory commissions, have been renewed through the fiscal year of 2004 and five, that is to say, to the end of September 2005.

What this actually means concretely for our work schedule, we will be letting you know, but someone of the pace of our work over the last two years, especially this year, has been informed by some doubt as to how long we would be alive, and I think I can promise you that there will be not so many meetings and a more leisurely pace of work, and I trust that that will not be unwelcome news to those around the table.

Second, there is renewal of a more personal and human sort, and I'd like to announce the birth of Joseph Thomas Clancy on October 10th to Dean and Heidi Clancy.


CHAIRMAN KASS:  It would be, I think, remiss for a body that spends so much of its time thinking about the dignity of human procreation in the abstract not to celebrate it in the flesh and in our midst.

All best wishes to you, Dean, and to the family.

Several of our members are unavoidably absent, send their regrets.  They have also in some cases sent in their comments for the later discussion, and I will read them.

Frank is abroad at a previously arranged meeting.  Mary Ann very late was named as part of the delegation to attend the 25th anniversary celebration of the Pontificate of John Paul, II.  Janet has a longstanding conference, and Dan Foster at the last minute had to cancel for family reasons.  He is okay.  Elizabeth will be with us tomorrow.

But we are a quorum, and I think we can proceed.

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