Commission Meetings – blog.Bioethics.gov https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog The blog of the 2009 - 2017 Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues Mon, 09 Jan 2017 23:23:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Looking Back at the Bioethics Commission’s Blog https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/12/05/looking-back-at-the-bioethics-commissions-blog/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/12/05/looking-back-at-the-bioethics-commissions-blog/#respond Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:00:04 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=2125 Throughout its tenure, the Bioethics Commission has maintained an active digital presence to connect with a global audience. A major component of this has been through its blog. This final blog post reflects on the role the blog has played in disseminating the Bioethics Commission’s work.first-blog

Former Bioethics Commission Executive Director Valerie Bonham launched the commission’s blog on November 15, 2010, announcing that the staff would be liveblogging during Meeting Three in Atlanta. From that meeting onward, Bioethics Commission staff continued to blog live from the Bioethics Commission’s meetings, held throughout the country in cities including Washington DC, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston. Meeting posts highlighted salient points of discussion as they occurred during the public meetings. For example, during Meeting Three, a blog post outlined the members’ deliberations regarding the risks and benefits of synthetic biology. During Meeting Eighteen, which focused on ethical issues in neuroscience, a blog post highlighted some of the discussion about the ethical challenges in neuroscience research. The Bioethics Commission also used blog posts to distill complex topics that arose during meetings. During Meeting Twelve, which focused on pediatric medical countermeasure research, a blog post presented a simplified structure of some of the federal regulations concerning pediatric research.

The commission’s blog also highlighted and explained the impact of the commission’s work. For example, during the commission’s tenure, a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the Common Rule—the regulations that govern the ethical conduct of federally supported human subjects research—was published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2015. Elements of the commission’s work were included in this notice. In September and October 2015, the Bioethics Commission released a series of blog posts that described some of the relevant inclusions in the NPRM, and explained their significance.

The Bioethics Commission also used the blog to share its outreach activities and initiatives with a broad readership. For example, when Bioethics Commission staff attended the annual meeting of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities in October 2015, a blog post highlighted the commission’s outreach efforts, and included answers to frequently asked questions that staff members fielded while at the conference. When the Bioethics Commission presented at the White House BRAIN conference, a blog post shared Executive Director Lisa M. Lee’s remarks. On June 8, 2016, Col. Nelson Michael gave an interview with the bioethics news site BioEdge, and the Bioethics Commission staff wrote a two-part blog post on some of the issues Col. Michael raised regarding democratic deliberation and ethics education. Blog posts were also written to describe publications in academic journals by Commission members and staff. A blog post shared a commentary written by Bioethics Commission Vice Ch
air Dr. James Wagner, who wrote about the importance of early ethics education.

During its tenure, the Bioethics Commission produced over 65 educational materials, and used the blog to picture1announce the availability of new educational materials, including user guides, primers, classroom discussion guides, and deliberative scenarios. Blog posts also helped outline how to use the educational materials. Blog posts also highlighted topics including innovations in ethics education, and the importance of civic engagement. The Bioethics Commission also used the blog to announce and promote its podcast series Ethically Sound, a 10-episode series that focuses on some of the ethical issues raised in the commission’s reports.
Readers can access previous blog posts, educational materials, the podcast series Ethically Sound, along with all of the Bioethics Commission’s reports and related materials at bioethics.gov. On behalf of the Bioethics Commission, we thank our readers for their continued interest in the work of the commission.

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Ethically Sound Episode 10: Charting a Path Forward https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/11/21/ethically-sound-episode-10-charting-a-path-forward/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/11/21/ethically-sound-episode-10-charting-a-path-forward/#respond Mon, 21 Nov 2016 16:00:01 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=2052 The tenth and final episode of the Bioethics Commission’s podcast series, Ethically Sound, is now available. Today’s episode, “Charting a Path previewscreensnapz001Forward,” focuses on the Bioethics Commission’s two most recent public meetings, during which the Bioethics Commission reflected on the impact of past, present, and future of national bioethics advisory bodies.

Since the 1970s, the U.S. has had a succession of national advisory bodies to provide Congress or the President with expert advice on topics related to bioethics. Other countries also benefit from advisory bodies that provide advice about bioethi
cal issues. During its twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth public meetings, the Bioethics Commission heard
from members of past bioethics advisory bodies, representatives of international bioethics bodies, as well as officials who have been advised by such bodies.

The podcast opens with a narrative from Alex Capron, Professor of Law and Medicine at the University of Southern California. Mr. Capron chaired the Biomedical Ethics Advisory Committee from 1987 to 1990, and served on President William J. Clinton’s National Bioethics Advisory Body from 1996 to 2001. Mr. Capron presented before the commission during Meeting 26, and reflected on his experiences with both of these advisory bodies. In the podcast, Mr. Capron recounts a challenging experience he faced while describing the disciplinary backgrounds of bioethics advisory body staff to policymakers unfamiliar with the interdisciplinary nature of bioethics.

The podcast also includes an interview with Bioethics Commission member Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, Kilbride-Clinton Chair in Medicine and Ethics at the University of Chicago. The interview was conducted by Hillary Wicai Viers, a former Communications Director with the Bioethics Commission staff. Dr. Sulmasy discussed the importance of looking to past commissions, the legacy of the current Bioethics Commission, and the pressing ethical issues that we could face in the future. Regarding the importance of looking to past bioethics commissions, Dr. Sulmasy said “The past is applicable because many of the most basic ethical questions are perennial. We may encounter new problems, but the most fundamental questions about human finitude, the meaning of human progress, the role of balancing relief of suffering versus other ethical principles, questions of cost, and justice are always with us.”

Episode 10, and all of the other Ethically Sound episodes, is now available on our website, as well as on our SoundCloud, YouTube and iTunes pages. Listeners can follow the podcast using #EthicallySound or by following us on Twitter @bioethicsgov. Stay tuned for our upcoming educational resource, a set of discussion questions to accompany the Ethically Sound series that can be used in a classroom or seminar setting. We welcome comments and feedback at info@bioethics.gov.

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Ethically Sound Episode 3: Anticipate and Communicate https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/09/26/ethically-sound-episode-3-anticipate-and-communicate/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/09/26/ethically-sound-episode-3-anticipate-and-communicate/#respond Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:51:38 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1934 The third episode of the Bioethics Commission’s podcast series, Ethically Sound is now available. This 10-episode series has been created to bring the diverse body of the Commission’s work to a wide audience. Today’s episode, “Anticipate and Communicate,” focuses on the Commission’s sixth report Anticipate and Communicate: Ethical Management of Incidental and Secondary Findings, which addressed how to ethically manage incidental findings—findings that lie outside the aim of a test or procedure—that arise in clinical, research, and direct-to-consumer contexts.

In the report, the Bioethics Commission analyzed the ethical issues related to incidental findings that could arise in clinical, research, and direct-to-consumer settings. During its public meetings, the Commission heard from individuals who have been affected by incidental findings, including Carol Krucoff, a yoga teacher and journalist. Ms. Krucoff spoke before the Commission about the discovery of her brain tumor, which was an incidental finding that resulted from an MRI taken after she fainted during a marathon. Ms. Krucoff opens this podcast by recounting her experience and sharing how the discovery of her incidental finding affected her life. She notes that “advances in imaging technology have made it increasingly common for healthy, asymptomatic people like me to learn of such a disturbing incidental finding.”

The podcast also features Bioethics Commission Member Dr. Christine Grady, Chief of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, who was interviewed by Hillary Wicai Viers, a former Communications Director with the Commission staff. Dr. Grady explains how her background as a researcher and as a nurse informed her understanding of the ethical challenges that incidental findings pose. Dr. Grady also shares how the diverse perspectives that the Commission members brought to the discussion helped address these ethical challenges in a wide range of contexts. “It was really very beneficial and helpful to hear from people who had received information about incidental findings and had vastly different experiences and perspectives on the matter,” Dr. Grady said in reference to the inclusion of diverse perspectives.

Episode 3: Anticipate and Communicate of Ethically Sound is available on our website, as well as on our SoundCloud, iTunes, and YouTube pages. In addition to this episode, listeners can access the first episode in this series, “Safeguarding Children,” and the second episode, “Ethics and Ebola.” Stay tuned for the fourth episode of Ethically Sound, “Privacy and Progress,” which will be available on October 3, 2016. We welcome comments and feedback at info@bioethics.gov.

 

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Bioethics Commission Closes Meeting with Roundtable Discussion https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/31/bioethics-commission-closes-meeting-with-roundtable-discussion/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/31/bioethics-commission-closes-meeting-with-roundtable-discussion/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 19:27:37 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1913 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 www.bioethics.gov in the next few weeks to watch the archived webcast or read the transcripts.

Thanks for joining us today.

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Presenters’ Additional Reflections on Bioethics Advisory Bodies https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/31/presenters-additional-reflections-on-bioethics-advisory-bodies/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/31/presenters-additional-reflections-on-bioethics-advisory-bodies/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 17:58:54 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1911 Presenters at today’s Bioethics Commission meeting continued their discussion on the impact of bioethics advisory bodies. Future efforts in bioethics and health policy can take into account lessons learned from the experiences of advisory bodies before them.

In the third session of the day, the Bioethics Commission heard from a variety of speakers considering the past, present, and future impact of such groups. Presenters included Ruth Macklin, Distinguished University Professor Emerita in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Harold T. Shapiro, President Emeritus and current Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. In addition, the commission heard from Rebecca Dresser, Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law at Washington University in St Louis, and Eugenijus Gefenas, Chairperson, Bureau of the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Ruth Macklin previously presented before the Bioethics Commission during Meeting 6 on the topic of international research ethics. Today, she spoke of her time on the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE) (1994-1995) under President Clinton. She also spoke about her membership as a staff consultant on NBAC, and the challenges of writing reports while commission members were changing their minds about recommendations. She spoke about maintain intellectual and moral integrity, when writing on behalf of others’ views.

Harold T. Shapiro drew from his time as Chair on the National Bioethics Advisory Commission under President Clinton (1995-2001) and as a member of the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology under President George W. Bush. He noted that we need to be specific about what bioethics is, what topics are important, and what kind of experts are needed to deliberate. He emphasized that whatever structure a bioethics commission takes, the important factor is that the leadership has access to people who can make change.

Rebecca Dresser previously spoke before the Bioethics Commission during Meeting 17 regarding ethical and societal implications of neuroscience, commenting on research protections for participants who might have impaired consent capacity. Today, she considered her time on the President’s Council on Bioethics under President George W. Bush, offering her own insights about what can happen when bioethics is conducted in the national spotlight, especially when the debates have partisan political aspects. She learned that people of different views can engage in civil debate, despite diverse backgrounds and moral commitments. “Deliberation in bioethics should expand to include the voices of as many possible of those now excluded,” she said.

Eugenijus Gefenas reflected on his experience on UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Bioethics Advisory Committee. He observed “Europe is a good example of capacity building for bioethics committees,” because the countries are different in terms of economics and size. He described some challenges that national bioethics advisory bodies face, including the difficulty of directly implementing recommendations and of measuring impact.

Next up: a roundtable discussion with all of our presenters from today’s meeting. Stay tuned!

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Presenters Reflect on National Bioethics Advisory Bodies https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/31/presenters-reflect-on-national-bioethics-advisory-bodies/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/31/presenters-reflect-on-national-bioethics-advisory-bodies/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 15:00:45 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1909 In the second session of the day, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) heard from a series of speakers reflecting on the past, present, and future impact of national bioethics advisory bodies. Presenters included Robert Cook-Deegan, Professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University; Alexander M. Capron, Scott H. Bice Chair in Healthcare, Law, Policy and Ethics; Thomas H. Murray, President Emeritus of the Hastings Center; and Jonathan Montgomery, Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

Robert Cook-Deegan served on as a member of the Biomedical Ethical Advisory Committee (1987-1990). He observed that the position of the Biomedical Ethical Advisory Committee in Congress as opposed to the executive branch might have contributed to its failure. He noted that an important goal of bioethics commissions should be political impact—for example, the President’s Commission in its Defining Death report influenced state laws. “If a Commission is sanctioned by the US government…there should be something that connects it to the political apparatus, there should be something that you’re doing that matters.”

Alexander M. Capron previously spoke before the Bioethics Commission in 2010 during Meeting 2 regarding the oversight of emerging technologies. Today, he reflected on his time on Chair of the Biomedical Ethics Advisory Committee (1987-1990), and as a member of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (1995-2001). He emphasized that our Commission has set a good example, showing the ways in which ethical issues move from the research stage to the impact in clinical practice and society. He also noted that topics in public health ethics deserve further examination by bioethics bodies.

Thomas H. Murray, who presented before the Bioethics Commission during Meetings 3 (on emerging technologies), 14 (on integrating ethics throughout the research process), and 21 (in memoriam of John Arras), recalled his time as a member of the National Bioethics Advisory Council (NBAC). He noted the importance of a diversity of perspectives, including ideological and religious variation. He also stated: “Our reports influenced how IRBs, regulators, and researchers think about a variety of issues,” emphasizing the impact that bioethics commissions can have on shaping the debate for generations to come. He complimented our Commission on thoughtful work and excellent use of democratic deliberation to address complex issues.

Jonathan Montgomery previously presented before the Bioethics Commission during Meeting 15 on the Nuffield Council’s efforts to address the social implications of novel advances in neuroscience as the commission deliberated about the ethical and social implications of the President’s BRAIN Initiative prior to releasing its report Gray Matters. At today’s meeting, he discussed his experience on the Nuffield Council of Bioethics in the United Kingdom. He emphasized that Nuffield is not beholden to anyone in terms of the topics they select, which affords them more freedom to explore controversial issues. “It’s crucial that we are courageous,” he said. Respecting the public’s opinion does not mean accepting it without scrutiny.

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Kathleen Sebelius Addresses Bioethics Commission https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/31/kathleen-sebelius-addresses-bioethics-commission/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/31/kathleen-sebelius-addresses-bioethics-commission/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 13:36:28 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1904 To start off the meeting, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius addressed, via video presentation, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) and reflected on its tenure during the administration of President Barack Obama.

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius served as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2014, and as the Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009. She is the President and CEO of Sebelius Resources LLC, which provides strategic advice to companies, investors, and non-profit organizations. Sebelius serves as a Senior Advisor to The Aspen Institute, where she co-chairs the Aspen Health Strategy Group, and as a member on the Board of Directors for companies including Dermira, Grand Rounds, and Humacyte. She earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity Washington University.

During her time as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary Sebelius was instrumental in the establishment of the Presidential Commission on the Study of Bioethical Issues by Executive Order in November 2009; she conducted the swearing-in of the Commission’s Members in 2010. In 2012, she issued the charge that led to the release of the Commission’s fifth report, Safeguarding Children: Pediatric Medical Countermeasure Research.

In her remarks, Former Secretary Sebelius reflected on her unique perspective as a U.S. Presidential Administration official who has charged the Bioethics Commission with a project. The former secretary noted the importance of working on tough issues and working across borders. She observed that Bioethics Commission has served an important national role in crucial issues in science and technology policy.

Sebelius May 2012

Bioethics Commission Chair Amy Gutmann and Vice Chair James Wagner greet then- Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius at their 9th Meeting in May of 2012 during the Bioethics Commission’s deliberations about pediatric medical countermeasure research.

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Bioethics Commission Meeting 26: Live from Philadelphia, PA https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/31/bioethics-commission-meeting-26-live-from-philadelphia-pa/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/31/bioethics-commission-meeting-26-live-from-philadelphia-pa/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 13:10:59 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1902 Welcome to Philadelphia, PA for the 26th public meeting of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission). The Bioethics Commission’s meeting is today, August 31, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. ET.

At today’s meeting, the Bioethics Commission will continue the discussion it began in Meeting 25, reflecting on the structure, operations, and impact of bioethics advisory committees. The Bioethics Commission welcomes a variety of esteemed speakers who will shed light on different perspectives pertinent to bioethics advisory committee activities, setting the stage for the future of such groups.
For the full agenda of today’s meeting, click here.

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

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Roundtable Discussion: Bioethics Advisory Bodies Past, Present, and Future https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/05/03/roundtable-discussion-bioethics-advisory-bodies-past-present-and-future/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/05/03/roundtable-discussion-bioethics-advisory-bodies-past-present-and-future/#respond Tue, 03 May 2016 19:09:11 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1836 The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) closed its reflections on the impact of national bioethics advisory bodies with a roundtable discussion involving Commission members and the day’s presenters.

Amy Gutmann, Ph.D., Chair of the Bioethics Commission, began the session by asking each panelist to articulate an important takeaway from the previous discussions about what the future holds for bioethics advisory bodies. She invited panelists and members to reflect upon what they would recommend to the next bioethics commission, in terms of either topic selection or structure/function.

Highlights from the discussion include:

Jason L. Schwartz, Ph.D., M.B.E., Assistant Professor of Health Policy and the History of Medicine at Yale University School of Public Health, talked about continuity between commissions, and how retaining their names might ensure a smoother transition and better continuity between administrations.

Nandini Kumar M.B.B.S., D.C.P., M.H.SC., Dr. TMA Pai Endowment Chair at Manipal University in India, emphasized the importance of including a member fluent in issues of international research, especially taking place in developing countries.

Tom L. Beauchamp, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, discussed the role of philosophy and philosophers in the conversations of bioethics advisory bodies.

Ruth Faden, Ph.D., M.P.H., Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director and Philip Franklin Wagley Professor at Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics stressed that human rights and health should be emphasized by future bioethics commissions, as opposed to emerging technologies. She also referred to accountability and the importance of signaling independence and authority, helping to ensure that the government responds to recommendations by commissions.

Manuel Ruiz De Chávez, M.D., M.S., F.R.C.P. President of the Mexico National Commission of Bioethics (CONBIOÉTICA) focused on the importance of international cooperation between bioethics bodies.

Patricia King, J.D., Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Medicine, Ethics, and Public Policy at Georgetown Law said applied ethicists play a critical role in the discussions at this level, and emphasized the importance of passing on some of the institutional knowledge gained by this Bioethics Commission to the next one.

The next meeting of the Bioethics Commission, which continues this discussion, is scheduled for August 31 in Philadelphia, PA. For details, go to www.bioethics.gov.

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Additional Reflections on National Bioethics Advisory Bodies https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/05/03/additional-reflections-on-national-bioethics-advisory-bodies/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/05/03/additional-reflections-on-national-bioethics-advisory-bodies/#respond Tue, 03 May 2016 18:14:52 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1832 The Bioethics Commission continued its discussion on the impact of bioethics advisory bodies, looking to the past to inform future efforts to address social and ethical dimensions of health, science, and technology policy.

In the second panel of the day, the Bioethics Commission heard from a variety of speakers considering the past, present, and future impact of such groups. Presenters included Tom L. Beauchamp, Professor of Philosophy at the Georgetown University Kennedy Institute of Ethics and Ruth Faden, Director of Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. In addition, the commission heard from Manuel Ruiz de Chávez, President of the Mexico National Commission of Bioethics (CONBIOÉTICA) and Patricia King, Professor of Law, Medicine, Ethics, and Public Policy at Georgetown Law.

Beauchamp shared insights gleaned from his time on the staff of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research (National Commission) where he contributed to the delineation of foundational principles for research ethics in the Belmont Report. He discussed the enduring impact of the Belmont Report both in the United States and abroad, while acknowledging its limitations and reflecting on what national bioethics bodies should focus on in the future.

Faden spoke of her experience as chair of the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE). She described ACHRE’s charge and the nature of the issue that it was facing under the Clinton administration. Faden emphasized the power that a presidential commission has, serving as a “public pulpit to make a tremendous difference.”

Ruiz de Chávez talked about the importance of promoting the message of bioethics to the public, and the role that national bodies can serve in fulfilling that mission. He discussed the importance of an interdisciplinary commission and staff to advise executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

King reflected on her experience to two U.S. bioethics committees, as a member of the National Commission and ACHRE. She discussed what made the National Commission successful, including the fact that the federal government was required to respond to each of their recommendations, even if they did not take them up, and the fact that they convened at least once a month for over four years. She also discussed some of the features of the commission that she felt could have been improved, including a lack of sufficient disciplinary diversity, and what the members learned from the challenges that they faced during their tenure.

Stay tuned as panelists from the morning’s session return for a roundtable discussion with the Bioethics Commission.

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