The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) has just released its fourth video where Commission Members reflect on the question, “How does the Bioethics Commission work?” In the short piece, Members discuss how and why the Commission engages in public bioethics as it addresses and responds to requests made by President Obama and his Administration.
The video features, among others, Bioethics Commission Member Anita L. Allen, J.D., Ph.D., who explains how the Commission works in public, holding at least four public meetings a year to deliberate on important and often controversial ethical issues facing our society. Members invite experts from around the country and the world to present their work and opinions. Over the course of several meetings the Commission publicly deliberates the issue at hand, develops a set of recommendations, and issues a public report. At all stages, public input is vitally important to the process.
“It’s fantastic when we have additional inputs from the public, additional inputs from people who are watching, so there can be a real conversation and a real deliberation, and a real public engaged opportunity for moving the conversation forward,” says Commission Member Nita A. Farahany, J.D., Ph.D., in the piece, now available on the Commission’s YouTube channel, Bioethicsgov.
“We hope to get feedback from the public about what matters to them, the kinds of things they are thinking about and worried about, and then use the public information and the public comments we get to shape our deliberations,” says Bioethics Commission Executive Director Lisa M. Lee, Ph.D., M.S. “That public participation across the spectrum is really important for our best work to be done.”
Currently the Bioethics Commission is requesting public comment on the ethical considerations of neuroscience research and the application of neuroscience research findings. The Bioethics Commission reviews comments submitted from individuals and organizations, and relies on these comments to help shape public deliberations and reports. The deadline for submitting a comment on the ethical considerations of neuroscience is Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
“Through our meetings, we have an opportunity for the public to comment and to ask questions, but also the public takes advantage of our website,” adds Bioethics Commission Vice Chair, James W. Wagner, Ph.D. Information about how to submit comments is available on our website, www.bioethics,gov. For more information on submitting a comment on the ethical considerations of neuroscience before the April 1 deadline please review the Federal Register Notice.