TRANSCRIPT: Meeting 3, Opening Remarks


November 17, 2010


Atlanta, Ga.


Amy Gutmann, Ph.D.
Commission Chair

James W. Wagner, Ph.D.
Commission Vice Chair

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Amy Gutmann:
Good Morning, I’m Amy Gutmann, President of the University of Pennsylvania and I’m Chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. The President of Emory University joins me, Jim Wagner, who is the Vice Chair of the Commission, and all of the commissioners, save Raju, who may be on speakerphone. Raju, are you here? No, Raju isn’t. Let me just go around and ask each of the Commission members to introduce themselves, beginning with Nelson Michael.
Nelson Michael:
I’m Nelson Michael, from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
Christine Grady:
Good morning. I’m Christine Grady from the Clinical Center Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health.
Alex Garza:
Good morning; Dr. Alex Garza, Department of Homeland Security.
Lonnie Ali:
Hi, I’m Lonnie Ali, wife of Muhammad Ali, and advocate for caregiving.
Barbara Atkinson:
Barbara Atkinson from the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Stephen Hauser:
Stephen Hauser from the University of California, San Francisco.
Daniel Sulmasy:
Dan Sulmasy from the University of Chicago.
Anita Allen:
Anita Allen from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
John Arras:
John Arras, Philosophy, University of Virginia.
Nita Farahany:
Nita Farahany from Vanderbilt University.
Amy Gutmann:
And Valerie Bonham is our Executive Director and also is our Federal Official of the meeting.
Yesterday, we began, and made a lot of progress in rolling out draft recommendations for our report on synthetic biology, which I believe all of you know, but in case you don’t, I will tell you, it’s the first report we will issue since we were created as a Commission. President Obama, shortly after we were created, asked us to issue a report on the ethical responsibilities of the field of synthetic biology and make any recommendations for federal oversight of that field, and any other recommendations pertaining to our goal of maximizing benefits, minimizing harms, and specifying what the ethical boundaries within which the field should operate. Yesterday, we discussed three of the five principles under which three of our recommendations fall, mainly Public Beneficence, Responsible Stewardship, Intellectual Freedom and Responsibility.
Today, we’re going to discuss our recommendations under the principles of Democratic Deliberation, and Justice and Fairness. After we do that, we will spend our final session with Mr. Hugh Whittall, who is the Executive Director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. He has joined us from London to offer an overview of his council’s recent report on medical profiling and online medicine. That will be very interesting to all of us. It’s a very current and important topic and it will help us as a Commission get up-to-date and I think it will help the whole American audience get up to date on what the Nuffield Council’s thinking is on medical profiling and online medicine.

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