Fifty Years After the Harvard Report on Brain Death: Consensus, Controversy, and the Future of Organ Transplantation
April 12-13, 2018
The 2018 Annual Bioethics Conference will explore the legacy of the 1968 report from the Harvard Medical School committee that proposed the concept of “brain death” as a new criterion for determining human death, making possible the procurement of “living” organs from bodies deemed to be “dead.” The conference will explore how this report facilitated the development of organ transplantation, assess current practices, and examine persistent controversies and challenges to the scientific and philosophical foundations of this concept. We will consider future strategies for facilitating the ethical procurement of organs for transplantation, and the impact of new technologies — such as gene editing and 3-D printing — that could radically alter the relevance of brain death as a concept necessary for organ procurement.
The Harvard Medical School Annual Bioethics Conference convenes leaders in the field to explore ethical questions and concerns in healthcare. Held each April, this two day, single track conference facilitates conversations among experts, and supports members of ethics committees, health care professionals, bioethicicists, administrators, attorneys and others who are interested in addressing ethical issues.