Liveblog Coverage – 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 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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Bioethics Commission Meeting 25: Live from Washington, DC https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/05/03/bioethics-commission-meeting-25-live-from-washington-dc/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/05/03/bioethics-commission-meeting-25-live-from-washington-dc/#respond Tue, 03 May 2016 13:25:02 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1823 Welcome to Washington, DC for the 25th public meeting of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission). The Bioethics Commission’s meeting is today, May 3, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. ET.

Chair Dr. Amy Gutmann opened up the meeting by summarizing the Bioethics Commission’s forthcoming report focusing on key aspects of their own efforts—on deliberation and education in bioethics. Deliberation is a process that has informed the Bioethics Commission’s practices, including respectfully engaging different viewpoints and striving toward consensus recommendations with transparent and accountable justification. The Bioethics Commission has previously made numerous recommendations to support bioethics education, and developed its own materials to address this need. The new report builds on these efforts, offering new recommendations for advancing bioethics deliberation and education.

At today’s meeting, the Bioethics Commission will begin its discussion of the impact of bioethics advisory bodies past, present, and future. The Bioethics Commission welcomes a variety of esteemed speakers from past U.S and other national bioethics advisory bodies. Panelists will shed light on previous bioethics advisory committees, and how these set the stage for the future of national-level bioethics bodies.

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. All transcripts and webcasts will be archived and available following the meeting.

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Bioethics Committee Meeting 24: Live Teleconference https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/03/03/bioethics-committee-meeting-24-live-teleconference/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/03/03/bioethics-committee-meeting-24-live-teleconference/#respond Thu, 03 Mar 2016 19:02:41 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1800 Welcome to the twenty-fourth public meeting of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission). The Bioethics Commission is meeting today, March 3, 2016, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST via teleconference.

At today’s meeting, the Bioethics Commission members will discuss the Commission’s educational materials, present and future. These materials embody the Commission’s commitment to ethics education and are freely accessible at bioethics.gov. The Bioethics Commission will welcome and hear from presenters who have been involved with the development and use of these materials.

For the full agenda of today’s meeting, click here.

Today’s teleconference is open to the public by calling 1-888-769-8756 and entering passcode 8934813 when prompted. Additionally, you can follow the highlights here on the blog. Audio recordings and transcripts will be archived and available following the meeting.

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Member Discussion of the Intersection of Deliberation and Education https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/11/17/member-discussion-of-the-intersection-of-deliberation-and-education/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/11/17/member-discussion-of-the-intersection-of-deliberation-and-education/#respond Tue, 17 Nov 2015 20:07:04 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1758 This is the last session of the Bioethics Commission’s twenty-third meeting. During this session, Members discussed what to recommend at the intersection of deliberation and education. In previous meetings, the Bioethics Commission has heard from experts in education that using deliberation as an educational tool builds the skills that will help students become informed and active participants in their communities. Bioethics education can be an important forum for introducing deliberative methods into diverse educational settings. Commission Members also heard from organizers of and participants in deliberative activities about the important educational function of these activities, which foster a more informed and engaged public. The mutually reinforcing functions of deliberation and ethics education create a virtuous circle, as deliberation facilitates education, and bioethics education builds skills of deliberation.

Members discussed two potential recommendations during this session. First, developments in health, science, and technology, some of which the Bioethics Commission has considered during its tenure, raise significant bioethical questions that need robust and informed public discussion and deliberation. Individuals involved in education and deliberation should use the tools in both of these domains to facilitate greater public engagement with these questions. Ultimately, Members agreed that this recommendation would be an important contribution to the fields of education and to bioethics and policy making.

Second, national bioethics commissions have an important role to play in supporting public bioethics education and contributing to national discourse and deliberations on health, science, and technology policy. Members proposed that future bioethics commissions and other bioethics organizations should continue to explore and advance their educational and democratic role, and should develop and promote accessible educational tools to enable teachers at all levels to integrate deliberation and bioethics education into their classrooms. Members agreed that this would be a valuable send-off to help guide future national bioethics commissions in their work.

The Commission is scheduled to meet again on March 3, 2016 in Atlanta, G.A. For details, go to www.bioethics.gov.

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