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25 years of Bioethics celebrated

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Otago Bioethics Centre is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Three symposia and a series of public lectures have been organised to mark the milestone.

Bioethics Centre Director John McMillan.

“Each symposium will cover a pressing ethical issue from a range of disciplinary perspectives so as to provide a well grounded discussion of that issue,” says Professor John McMillan, Director of the Bioethics Centre who is also one of the speakers.

Bioethics is the ethical study of issues arising within medicine and the life-sciences in their broadest senses.

Otago’s Bioethics Centre was established in 1988 in response to growing awareness of new ethical issues relating to law, medicine and technology; issues which touch the lives of everyone.

Among the Centre’s highlights over the past 25 years are its establishment of a world leading integrated ethics programme in the Otago Medical School, its role as a focal point within the region for scholarship in bioethics, and its sustained contribution to education, debate and the critical analysis of ethical issues regionally, nationally and internationally says Professor McMillan.

“Many of our graduates have gone on to have careers in public policy, ethics and the health professions – including myself.”

University staff and students are invited to attend the symposia which commence 19 September. Each symposium is followed by a public event that aligns with the theme of that symposium. For complete details visit the Bioethics Centre’s website.

The Future of Ethical Review

Thursday 19 September

Room 4. 29, Commerce Building


Professor John McMillan – Director, Bioethics Centre
Introduction and Welcome

Dr Barry Smith – Lakes District Health Board Population Health Analyst, (Te Rarawa, Ngati Kahu)
What shape for Mäori consultation in the new HDECs’ approach to ethics review?

Associate Professor Martin Tolich – Sociology 

How are health and disability ethics committees responding to the prohibition on reviewing the scientific validity of research?

Professor Linda – Holloway
Head of Department, Human Nutrition
The lessons from Cartwright are they still relevant?

Associate Professor Andrew Moore – Philosophy
The job of ethics committees

Public lecture

Thursday 19 September
5.30 – 6.30 pm
Barnett Lecture theatre, First Floor Dunedin Public Hospital

Professor Carl Elliott – Centre of Bioethics and Department of paediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School
Fear and Loathing in Medical Research

Genetics and Ethics

Wednesday 25 September
Octagonal Room, First Floor
Dunedin Hospital


Dr Ruth Fitzgerald – Senior Lecturer Social Anthropology
Lay persons moral reasoning regarding new genetic and reproductive technologies

Associate Professor Colin Gavaghan – Director of the New Zealand Law Foundation Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies

Potential uses of genomic information in criminal courts

Nikki Kerruish – Senior Lecturer, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health and Bioethics Centre
Children and genetic testing: research on the ethical and social implications

Professor Stephen Robertson – Curekids Professor in Paediatric Genetics; Director and Head of Clinical Genetics Research Group

Pragmatic clinical ethics in the genomic sequencing era

Professor Hamish Spencer – Department of Zoology
Lessons to be learnt from the history of eugenics

Julian Savulescu – Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, University of Oxford

The future of genetics and ethics

Public lecture

Wednesday 25 September
Etrusco, 8 Moray Place

Julian Savulescu – University of Oxford; Colin Gavaghan – University of Otago School of Law
Genetics and Criminality

Sports Ethics

Thursday 26 September
Octagonal Room, First Floor
Dunedin Hospital


Professor Steve Jackson – Physical Education
Setting the scene: the nature of top level sport in NZ

Dr Hamish Osborne – Sports Medicine
Concussion and the use of screening tools

Dr Brad Partridge – University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research
Concussion Management Guidelines in Australia’s Collision Sports: Ethical and Evidential Problems

Associate Professor David Gerrard – Medical Education Group
Doping, WADA, and clinical management of athletes

Dr Mike King – Bioethics Centre
Dividing sport into enhanced and unenhanced leagues

Dr Lynley Anderson – Bioethics Centre
Risky business

Dr Peter Burt – MHealSc Graduate Bioethics Centre
Ethically challenging behaviour in sports medicine in NZ

Public lecture

Thursday 26 September
5.30 – 6.30 pm
Barnett Lecture Theatre, First Floor Dunedin Public Hospital

Professor Julian Savulescu – University of Oxford
The case for legalising the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport