World Authority on the Ethics of Medical Research to Lecture at University of Rochester Medical Center
September 15, 1998
An author and world authority on the ethics of medical research will speak at the University of Rochester Medical Center on Thursday, September 17.
Baruch A. Brody, Ph.D., will deliver the first annual Nichole Wan Memorial Lecture in Research Ethics. The annual lecture was established to honor the memory of a UR student who died in 1996 after she suffered an adverse reaction to a local anesthetic while participating in a research study at the Medical Center. The lectures highlight topics concerning the safety and ethical treatment of people who volunteer to participate in medical research. The lectures are free and open to the public.
Brody, a professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Baylor College of Medicine, will discuss the achievements and shortcomings of worldwide standards of research ethics in his lecture titled, "The International Regulation of Research." The lecture will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the Upper S-Wing Auditorium (Room 3-7619) in the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
"The ethical treatment of people who serve as research subjects varies from country to country, and that reduces the standards of ethics to the lowest common denominator," explained Brody. "If a researcher wanted to conduct an experiment that the U.S. deemed unethical, like human cloning, the researcher could just move to a nation that had no ban and begin work."
Brody will discuss why standards for issues like animal testing and patient privacy vary dramatically from one country to another, while standards for other issues - such as the use of children as research subjects - have become relatively consistent across national boundaries.
Drawing from his recent book "The Ethics of Biomedical Research: An International Perspective" Brody will outline why certain topics spark more communication among countries, and consequently more uniformity in their standards.
"Dr. Brody is a rare combination - a brilliant person who speaks in everyday language," says Jane Greenlaw, director of the Division of Medical Humanities and co-director of the Program of Clinical Ethics. "His talks on international public policy and fundamental ethical principles take a down-to-earth approach to a global concern that can effect all of us."
Brody received his B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1962 and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Princeton University in 1967. He studied at Oxford University as a Fulbright scholar and taught at M.I.T. before joining Baylor.
Brody has been appointed by the U.S. Congress to study the ethics of new reproductive technology, genetic testing in the workplace, and patenting human gene fragments. He heads the NASA Bioethics Policy Task Force and is a past president of the Society for Health and Human Values.