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Jonathan Moreno and Andrew Light Speak About Biotechnology and Global Warming at the National Press Club
Date:11/9/2009

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Appignani Bioethics Center, a project of the American Humanist Association, held a panel discussion today at the National Press Club to examine controversial emerging technologies in biomedical sciences and climate change. The topics were framed by Jonathan Moreno and Andrew Light, both of the Center for American Progress, who considered the issues from ethical and political angles.

A video of the event will be made available here later today: www.youtube.com/humanistvision .

The panelists argued that debates around these controversial technologies have become increasingly politicized--highlighting fundamental differences between basic moral convictions, world-views, and political assumptions, which makes finding common ground an almost impossible task.

One such illustrative case is that of Terri Schiavo, which Jonathan Moreno commented on in a statement to the Appignani Bioethics Center: "Neurologists who study cases of vegetative states like those of Terri Schiavo have come to identify them as permanently vegetative," said Moreno. "'Right to life' advocates insist upon more and more medical tests and interventions, thus exploiting a private family matter for political advantage. Legally (and in my opinion morally), it will still be up to the patient or their appointed agent to decide about treatment, despite disagreements among family members." At the panel, Moreno spoke about the history and politics of bioethics, and noted that as science has advanced, concerns about the implications for traditional values have deepened. He went on to illustrate how those concerns have played out in the political debate.

Andrew Light spoke about the science, politics and ethics of climate change, and noted that the subject is particularly timely due to a scheduled early-December meeting in Copenhagen that will bring
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SOURCE American Humanist Association
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