DESIGNING HUMAN LIFE  30th MARCH  2006. Imperial College. Health Care Ethics Forum.   In Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, humans are created and incubated to term in laboratories. Human Life is programmed and sanitised. To-day, rapid developments in the treatment of human infertility, in molecular biology, in diagnostic technology and in genetics have alleviated suffering but also opened the door to genetic manipulation and engineering in humans. Gender selection is now possible. Human reproductive cloning is a distinct possibility. Genetic testing and prenatal screening allow for greater reproductive choice but also create problems with confidentiality, relationships and genetic discrimination. Stem cell research offers hope that new therapies will become available. Yet alongside the potential benefits, these scientific developments create new and perplexing challenges and raise a number of disturbing scenarios. The moral status of the human embryo remains a key issue. Does possible always mean permissible?  

Aims and objectives   To identify some of the ethical, social and legal issues that arise as a consequence of current and foreseeable scientific developments in this domain To increase understanding of this complex area and the science underpinning the developments. To explore the impact on individuals, families, societies and human values. To evaluate the impact on healthcare policy and practice. To encourage multiple perspectives and rational, informed debate. To consider how the management of these developments can be achieved on a morally sound and responsible basis.  

Who should attend  

The conference is intended for medical, nursing and allied professionals, philosophers, ethicists, scientists, lawyers, teachers, students, administrators and all individuals who wish to explore and debate the key issues in this complex and controversial area of bioethics.  




Chair: Professor Raanan Gillon  

9 – 9.30am     Registration   9.30 – 9.40     Introduction and housekeeping. Paquita de Zulueta and Mervyn Jones.   9.40 – 10.20    Ethics of Prenatal testing. Dr Clare Williams   10.20 – 11       Ethics of genetic testing and screening. Professor Mike Parker   11 -11.30        Coffee break   11.30 –12.10   Legal and ethical issues in preimplantation genetic diagnosis.   Dr Rosamund Scott   12.10 – 12.50   Panel/audience discussion   12.50 – 14        LUNCH   14 – 14.40        Human enhancement – Professor Julian Savulescu   14.40 – 15.20   Sex selection – Dr Piers Benn   15.20 – 15.40    Coffee break   15.40 – 16.20    'Embryonic Stem Cells; Their Therapeutic Potentials & Ethical Dilemmas'.  Dr S H Cedar                        16.20– 16.50     Panel/audience discussion. Evaluation   16.50 – 17.00    Chairman's conclusion.   17.00                 End of conference.  

Cost: £125 early booking fee before 28th Feb  0r      £150 after 28th Feb. For conference applications and enquiries, contact Bang Nong at the Centre for professional development, Imperial College.