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

Bioethics Commission Closes Meeting with Roundtable Discussion

This afternoon, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) closed its meeting with a roundtable discussion of the impact of bioethics advisory bodies past, present, and future.

Amy Gutmann, Ph.D., Chair of the Bioethics Commission, asked each panelist to identify one important idea or action that encapsulated their thoughts for the day.

Highlights from the discussion include:

Jonathan Montgomery, LL.M., HonFRCPCH, Chair, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, focused on curating topics so as not to reiterate too heavily what past commissions have already discussed.

Eugenijus Gefenas, M.D., Ph.D., Chairperson, Bureau of the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee, UNESCO, observed that continuity of name and staff of commissions would improve continuity, even across administrations.

Rebecca Dresser, J.D., Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law, Washington University in St Louis, said: “Get out of the bioethics bubble.” She emphasized the experience and knowledge necessary for well-rounded composition of commissions.

Harold T. Shapiro, Ph.D, President Emeritus, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University, said that external review is necessary for quality work product.

Ruth Macklin, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor Emerita at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, urged diversity of membership and the importance of including a variety of perspectives.

Robert Cook-Deegan, M.D., Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University, suggested the importance of using relevant expertise to deliberate.

Alexander M. Capron, L.L.B., Scott H. Bice Chair in Healthcare Law, University of Southern California, said “bioethics is a field of inquiry,” and emphasized that individuals should bring their own knowledge and experience from their disciplines to the table.

Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D., President Emeritus, The Hastings Center, said that commissions should “develop robust communication strategies for key audiences,” emphasizing the important role that commissions play in outreach and education.

Members and panelists then engaged in a discussion about what topics will be relevant for a future commission to take up, how they should deliberate, and what their role in society and politics should be. Check out in the next few weeks to watch the archived webcast or read the transcripts.

Thanks for joining us today.

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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.