President’s Bioethics Commission Meets to Take up Next Major Issues

Panel Begins Consideration of Human Subjects Protection at President’s Request, as well as Genetics & Neuroscience
February 16, 2011


Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues


Public Meeting


Monday, February 28, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Tuesday, March 1, 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.


St. Regis Washington, D.C.
Astor Ballroom
923 16th and K Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20006


Genetics & Neuroscience (February 28)
Human Subjects Protection (March 1)

Following the revelation last Fall that that the U.S. Public Health Service supported research about sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948 that involved intentionally infecting vulnerable human populations, President Obama asked the Bioethics Commission to assure him that current rules for research participants protect people from harm or unethical treatment, domestically as well as internationally. President Obama requested that the Commission’s Chair, Amy Gutmann, Ph.D., convene an international panel to conduct a thorough review of human subjects protection to determine if Federal regulations and international standards adequately guard the health and well-being of participants in scientific studies supported by the Federal Government.

The Commission is beginning its review through open discussion on March 1 with leading experts in global health, medicine and medical ethics, including Lawrence Corey, M.D., University of Washington; Dan Brock, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School; Susan Lederer, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison; and Eric Meslin, Ph.D., Indiana University.

Link to President Obama’s request to the Commission:

In addition, the Commission is beginning to examine the ethics and policy issues raised by genetics and neuroscience. Speakers on February 28 will include Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health; Bruce Rosen, M.D., Ph.D. Harvard Medical School; Susan Wolf, J.D. University of Minnesota; and others.

This meeting is free and open to the public. The Commission welcomes input from anyone wishing to provide public comment on any issue before it. The Commission’s goal, time permitting, is to invite brief public comment during each meeting session.

Individuals who would like to provide public comment at the meeting should notify Esther Yoo by telephone at 202-233-3960, or e-mail at

To accommodate as many speakers as possible the time for public comments may be limited. If the number of individuals wishing to speak is greater than can reasonably be accommodated during the scheduled meeting, the Commission may randomly select speakers from among those who register to speak.

Written comments will also be accepted and are especially welcome.

The meeting will be live-streamed and archived on the Commission website at Transcripts will be posted on the website after the meeting.

This is a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Foreign copyrights may apply.