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Session: Defining Personhood: Ethical and Public Policy Implications for Reproductive Health Services and Biogenetic Research
3289.0: Monday, November 8, 2004: 2:30 PM-4:00 PM
Defining Personhood: Ethical and Public Policy Implications for Reproductive Health Services and Biogenetic Research
This session will examine the legal and ethical issues being raised by emerging state and federal policies proposing to grant “personhood” status (and accompanying protections) to fetuses, embryos and even pre-embryos such as zygotes. Long an issue in the debate over abortion rights, the definition of “personhood” has now become a central source of conflict in public policymaking on oversight or regulation of embryonic stem cell research, therapeutic cloning, assisted reproductive techniques, pre-implantation genetic screening, provision of emergency contraception and even the development of new vaccines grown on culture mediums derived from fetal cells. This timely session will provide ethical, legal, medical and public policy perspectives on when “personhood” begins and how proposed protections to be granted to embryos must be weighed against the rights of women of childbearing age and patients seeking treatments for degenerative diseases. Presenters will describe the range of political positions on this issue and the active role being taken by fundamentalist religious groups advocating protection of all “pre-born” life. Presenters will outline the importance of this issue for women’s reproductive rights, the development of new reproductive genetics technologies and the advancement of medical research.
Learning Objectives: Participants will learn to: 1. Analyze claims of personhood for the embryo and fetus in light of law and ethics. 2. Recognize the implications for both reproductive rights and biogenetic research of proposed public policies defining when life begins or granting personhood status to the embryo. 3. List and describe new reproductive genetics technologies and techniques, analyze how these technologies may influence public health and public policy decision-making and evaluate a range of policy options for regulating such technologies. 4. Identify trends in the use of law to address embryonic stem cell research and cloning research, and evaluate the potential impact of these policies on reproductive freedom.
Moderator(s):Lourdes A. Rivera, JD
2:30 PMPublic health policy and the politics of the embryo
Lois Uttley, MPP, Ronora Pawelko, JD
2:44 PMEthical aspects of the claim of personhood for the fetus
Ruth Roemer, JD
2:58 PMReproductive genetics: Public Health and Public Policy Choices  [ Recorded presentation ]
Susannah A. Baruch, JD, Kathy Hudson, PhD
3:12 PMState legislation and the cloning debate: Implications for biomedical research and reproductive health policy
Richard N. Gottfried, Chair
3:26 PMRole of Abortion Politics in Regulation of Biomedical Research  [ Recorded presentation ]
Lisa C. Ikemoto, JD, LLM
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by:Population, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health
Endorsed by:Socialist Caucus; Women's Caucus
CE Credits:CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA