Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dal's presents free public talk

Novel Tech Ethics (Dalhousie University) presents a free public talk. Please help us with advertising and pass this invitation onto any contacts or mailing lists as soon as possible.


Mark Bernstein, Neurosurgeon
Toronto Western Hospital; Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto

Wednesday, June 10, 2009—7:30PM
QEII Royal Bank Theatre, 1796 Summer Street, Halifax Infirmary
Come early, seating is limited!

A veteran neurosurgeon with extensive experience with many scientific and clinical studies, explores patients' experience using qualitative research. This means interviewing patients about a variety of issues and listening to their stories. The goal is to learn information to improve the patient experience in our complex, high-tech medical profession, in which the patient can easily find themselves feeling lost.

Mark Bernstein (MD, MHSc, FRCSC) is Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto and a neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. His main areas of clinical interest are neuro-oncology (caring for patients with brain tumours) and advancing surgery in the developing world where he has made about 20 visits to teach and operate. He is a committed educator and has won numerous teaching awards. In 2003 he completed a Masters of Health Science in Bioethics - his main interests in the field of bioethics are surgical innovation, priority setting, research ethics, medical error and patient safety, novel resource utilization, and ethical issues in surgical education. He has published over 200 scientific papers, a Textbook of Neuro-Oncology, and over 100 “popular” articles many of which attempt to bridge the gap between the medical profession and the public.

2. Technologically Shaping Selves: Ethics and the Pursuit of Enhancement

Erik Parens, Senior Research Scholar
The Hastings Center (Garrison, NY), a nonpartisan research institution dedicated to bioethics and the public interest since 1969

Wednesday, September 23, 2009—7:30PM
Room 104, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue, Dalhousie University
Come early, seating is limited!

At least since the publication of Peter Kramer’s book Listening to Prozac, there has been a lively public debate in the US about using medical technologies to make us “better than well.” Some critics argue that “enhancement technologies” (whether pharmacological, surgical, or genetic) threaten to alienate us from who we really are. Some enthusiasts argue that these technologies will enable us to become more fully who we really are. I will argue that critics and enthusiasts share more than they are inclined to acknowledge. Further, I will suggest that if we consider the insights on both sides more carefully, we will conclude that none of us is—or should be—comfortable on only one side.

Questions to consider:
· Do you have a “gut feeling” about whether, in general, it is good or bad to use technologies like surgery or pharmacology or genetics to enhance human traits and capacities?
· Leaving aside concerns about safety and access for the moment, what are your reasons for being for or against technological enhancement?

Erik Parens is a Senior Research Scholar at The Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute in Garrison, New York. He received his BA, MA, and PHD degrees from interdisciplinary programs in the humanities at The University of Chicago. Since arriving at The Hastings Center in 1992, he has led research projects that have resulted in many publications, including 4 edited volumes: Surgically Shaping Children: Technology, Ethics, and the Pursuit of Normality (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006); Wrestling with Behavioral Genetics: Science, Ethics, and Public Conversation (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005); Prenatal Testing and Disability Rights (Georgetown University Press, 2000); and Enhancing Human Traits: Ethical and Social Implications (Georgetown University Press, 1998). He is currently leading one research project on the controversies surrounding the pharmacological treatment of emotional and behavioral disturbances in children and leading a second on the controversies surrounding the interpretation of neuroimages.

For more information, including directions to the QEII’s Royal Bank theatre, go to the “Events” page of http://www.noveltechethics.ca/ . If you would like to join the Novel Tech Ethics mailing list for notice of these and other Novel Tech Ethics public education events, please send your contact information to nte@dal.ca

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