Bioethics Conference

November 5, 1997
Media Contact: Gary Stephenson
Phone: (410)955-5384

Ruth R. Faden, director of the Johns Hopkins University Bioethics Institute will deliver the keynote address at the annual joint meeting of the American Association of Bioethics, the Society for Bioethics Consultation, and the Society for Health and Human Values.

Faden will deliver her address at 9:30 am on Thursday, November 6 in the Grand Ballroom at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor. The theme of this year's meeting is "Visions for Ethics and Humanities in a Changing Healthcare Environment." The meeting runs November 5-9, 1997. Topics include the ethics involved with care at the end of life, genetic testing and decision-making, healthcare rationing, assisted suicide, organ transplantation, issues in managed care, informed consent, spirituality and belief, ethics in medical research, and others.

In her address, Faden challenges the research and bioethics communities to confront the realities of the limits of consent requirements to ensure the ethics of research involving human subjects. Using the examples of the seriously ill and the homeless, she argues that consent is often not the best mechanism for protecting the interests of individual potential subjects, and that consent does not address some of our deepest concerns about research which have to do with considerations of justice. She then examines these considerations of justice, raising questions about exploitation and power, and about the relationship between justice in health research and justice in health care.

Faden also is the Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics, a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management of the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, and a senior research scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. She has served on numerous national advisory panels and was appointed by President Clinton to chair the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments. She is the co-author of A History and Theory of Informed Consent as well as co-editor of several books on the HIV epidemics and research ethics.

The Bioethics Institute of The Johns Hopkins University was established in 1995 as a university-wide endeavor to bring the moral dimensions of health policy, medical care and the biological, behavioral and social sciences to the forefront of scholarship and practice. The Institute is intended to produce the nation's next generation of leaders in bioethics, to promote research at the intersection of ethics, law, medicine and science, and to provide service to the government and the private sector.

-- JHMI --
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