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PRESS RELEASE: 04.14.10 Three Hastings Center Fellows Chosen for Obama’s Bioethics Commission; Chair Is Also a Fellow

(Garrison, NY) Hastings Center Fellows Anita Allen, Christine Grady, and Daniel Sulmasy were appointed to President Barack Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, the White House announced. Amy Gutmann, who was appointed Chair of the Commission last November, is also a Hastings Center Fellow.

“I am grateful that these impressive individuals have decided to dedicate their talent and experience to this important Commission,” said President Obama. “I look forward to their recommendations in the coming months and years.”

The Hastings Center Fellows are an elected association of leading researchers influential in law, medicine, and other fields related to the Center’s work. Allen is currently Chair of the Fellows Council and a voting member of The Hastings Center’s Board of Directors.

“With her pioneering scholarship on democratic deliberation and her great experience as a leader, Amy Gutmann is a brilliant choice as Chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues,” said Thomas H. Murray, President of The Hastings Center. “Anita Allen, Christine Grady, and Dan Sulmasy are eminent bioethics scholars who will be outstanding Commissioners. At a time when the promises raised by emerging biotechnology and the public policy challenges posed by health reform make bioethics more relevant than ever, I am delighted that their voices will help guide public conversation.”

“The Hastings Center is honored to be represented on President Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and the Commission is fortunate to have four of our exemplary Fellows among its members,” said David L. Roscoe, Chair of the Center’s Board of Directors.

The Commission will advise the President on bioethical issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology, according to the White House. Its goal will be to identify and promote policies and practices that ensure that scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner.

Commission Chair Amy Gutmann is President of the University of Pennsylvania. A distinguished political scientist, philosopher, and scholar of ethics and public policy, she is also the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences and holds secondary appointments in communications, education, and philosophy. Prior to her appointment as the University of Pennsylvania’s President in 2004, Gutmann served as Provost at Princeton University, where she was also the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics. At Princeton, she was the founding Director of the University Center for Human Values – a leading multidisciplinary center that fosters greater research and discourse on ethics and human values. She is a founding member of the Association of Practical and Professional Ethics, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Vanguard Corporation, and the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center. She has authored and edited 15 books and has published more than 100 articles, essays, and book chapters, and continues to teach and write on ethics and public policy, democracy, and education.

Anita L. Allen is the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She also serves as Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs of the school and is Senior Fellow in the Bioethics Department, School of Medicine. A distinguished scholar of privacy law and practical ethics, Allen is recognized for her work on confidentiality in medicine, genetics and research, racial justice, and women’s health. Allen served on the original National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research and its Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Working Group in the 1990s. She is presently on the Board of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, collaborates with Penn’s Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Mental Health, and has written about how American families cope with addiction and mental disorders.

Christine Grady is the Acting Chief of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Her research focuses on research subject recruitment, incentives, vulnerability, and international research ethics. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and was elected as a Fellow at the American Academy of Nursing. She has previously served as a consultant to UNAIDS and the Pan American Health Organization and as a staff member to the President’s Commission on HIV Infection.

Daniel Sulmasy, a Franciscan Friar, holds the Kilbride-Clinton Chair in Medicine and Ethics in the Department of Medicine and Divinity School and is Associate Director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. He was appointed by Governor George Pataki to the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law in 2005. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. His research interests include both theoretical and empirical studies of ethics and spirituality in medicine.

Contact: Michael Turton, turtonm@thehastingscenter.org  845 424 4040 ext. 242