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National Experts to Convene About Bioethics and Politics
   June 22, 2006


Albany, N.Y., June 22, 2006 – Bioethics is the discipline that aims to help physicians, policymakers, patients and the public deal with the moral complexities of health care. But what happens when ethical issues become political ones? Issues ranging from morning-after contraception to stem cell research spark fierce debates among those on both sides of the political aisle: Suddenly bioethics divides right from left. When politics and morality converge, questions arise about the future of bioethics in a democratic society.


The Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College will present these emerging issues during a conference July 13 and 14 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albany that will gather together many of this country’s bioethicists. The event is open to the public, but pre-registration is required at


The annual AMBI Summer Conference, “Bioethics & Politics: The Future of Bioethics in a Divided Democracy,” will feature 18 guest speakers, seminars, and paper presentations by researchers. It’s the official summer conference of the National Association of Bioethics. AMBI leads a group of co-sponsors, including Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, and both Albany Law School’s new Program in Health Law & Bioethics and the Rockefeller Institute of Government Program on States and Bioethics.


As one of the largest bioethics centers in New York State, AMBI “has a responsibility to try to make sure that these issues are debated on their merits, so that bioethics doesn’t become a political sport,” said Glenn McGee, PhD, director of the institute, who will speak at the conference.


Kicking off the conference will be the inaugural John A. Balint lectureship, to be given by Edmund Pellegrino, MD, the Chair of the President’s Council on Bioethics and the John Carroll Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University.


Other speakers include a who’s who of leaders in bioethics and politics, from the director of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ stem cell effort, to the head of the Progressive Bioethics Initiative, a program that grew out of former Clinton adviser John Podesta’s Washington think tank. Dr. McGee is the conference chairman, and AMBI faculty James W. Fossett, PhD, of Rockefeller Institute of Government; and Alicia Ouellette, JD of Albany Law School also will speak.


For more information about the conference, visit


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