The blog of the 2009 – 2017 Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

Live From Washington, D.C.

Welcome to the blog for the thirteenth public meeting of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (the Bioethics Commission). The Bioethics Commission is meeting in Washington, D.C. today, April 30th, from 9am to 5pm, EST.

At this meeting the Bioethics Commission will begin work on its next project, the ethical implications of incidental findings. As the commission members recognized in their recent report Privacy and Progress in Whole Genome Sequencing, an important unsettled issue is the ethics of reporting incidental findings to individuals. The Bioethics Commission noted in Privacy and Progress that it planned to take up the issue of incidental findings and will do so now.

Incidental findings are information gleaned from medical procedures or laboratory tests beyond their stated aims or goals. They can be discovered in the context of clinical care, research, or commercial direct-to-consumer testing. Emerging medical technologies, changing cost structures, and evolving medical practice make the likelihood of discovering incidental findings a growing certainty in the clinic, research, and commercial direct-to-consumer contexts.

The Bioethics Commission has a full agenda today including looking at the ethical challenges of emerging technologies, as well as hearing from recipients of findings incidental to research and to clinical care.

To examine these issues, the Presidential Commission will bring together experts with experience of incidental findings in research, clinical practice, and direct-to-consumer testing, as well as experts on the ethical issues associated with incidental findings in science.

You can follow the proceedings of the Commission’s meeting here at this blog, or on the live webcast at the Commission’s website: www.bioethics.gov. All transcripts and webcasts will be archived and available following the meeting.

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About blog.Bioethics.gov

This is a space for the members and staff of the 2009 -2017 Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to communicate with the public about the work of the commission and to discuss important issues in bioethics.

As of January 15th, 2017 this blog will no longer be updated but continues to be available as an archive of the work of the 2009-2017 Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

Learn more about the 2009 - 2017 Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.