For Journalists


For Journalists



U.Va. Center for Biomedical Ethics Sponsors Conference, Role Of Religion In Biomedical Ethics To Be Explored

February 23, 2000 -- Where does cutting-edge medicine stop and "playing God" begin?

It all depends.

Doctors steeped in science may have one view while religious patients may have others. Navigating between the secular and the sacred at times of medical crisis has never been easy. And continuing advances in medicine are only making it harder.

The Center for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Virginia is sponsoring a conference that will explore the intertwining relationship of religion and bioethics in the light of recent medical advances.

"Belief and Bioethics: Religious Faith and Secular Medical Ethics" will bring together some of the nation’s top minds in religion and bioethics. The conference will run March 15-16 at U.Va.’s McLeod Hall.

"The field of bioethics is now over thirty years old and you can hardly turn around in our public conversation without tripping over it," said Jonathan Moreno, director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics. "Yet the dialogue with theologians and concern about the way religious belief relates to modern, high-tech medicine has languished. Our goal is to reinvigorate that dialogue."

The program will be of particular interest to front-line health care workers -- physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains -- as well as to members of the clergy, and students and teachers of philosophy and religious studies. The conference is open to the public with payment

of a $100 registration fee, which covers conference materials and the cost of breakfast and lunch for two days.

Noteworthy speakers include: Martin Marty, University of Chicago, preeminent Protestant theologian; Elliott Dorff, University of Judaism, leading conservative Jewish

theologian; Margaret Mohrmann, University of Virginia, author of "Spirituality and Medicine"; Jim Childress, University of Virginia, member of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and coauthor of "Principles of Biomedical Ethics," a prominent textbook in bioethics; John Arras, author of "Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine," an anthology in bioethics; and Renee Fox, University of Pennsylvania, outspoken critic of the field of bioethics.

The conference has been planned with the cooperation of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Finkelstein Institute and is cosponsored by the Department of Chaplaincy Services at the U.Va. Health System, U.Va.’s Department of Religious Studies and its Program of Humanities in Medicine.

A brochure with a detailed program is attached.

For more information about conference logistics, contact Ann Mills, associate director for outreach programs at (804) 982-3978, or at For more information about conference objectives, topics, or speakers, contact Jonathan Moreno, director for the Center for Biomedical Ethics at (804) 924-8274, or at

Contact: Charlotte Crystal, (804) 924-6858

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page

Top news site edited by Jane Ford (; maintained by Karen Asher (; releases posted by Suzanne Raileanu (
Last Modified: Wednesday, 23-Feb-2000 12:47:37 EST
© 2000 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
Topnews Information: (804) 924-4298.

News Sources UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page News Sources UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar Uva Home Page