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Making Hard Decisions
U.Va. Ethics Professor Jonathan Moreno To Speak, Sign New Book On Biomedical Ethics On Sept. 20, Oct. 3 & 11

Sepember 6, 2005 -- Two local book signings have been scheduled for “Is There an Ethicist in the House? On the Cutting Edge of Bioethics,” written by Jonathan D. Moreno, director of the U.Va. Center for Biomedical Ethics. Moreno will discuss some of his experiences as a hospital ethicist and sign books at the U.Va. Bookstore on Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. He also will appear at New Dominion Book Shop on Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. And in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 3 at 10 a.m., Moreno will sign books and moderate a panel on bioethics at the Center for American Progress, where he is a senior fellow.

In a crisis, it’s not unusual to hear the panicked cry: “Is there a doctor in the house?” Much less likely is an anguished: “Is there a philosopher in the house?”

But Jonathan D. Moreno, a distinguished authority on biomedical ethics and director of the University of Virginia Center for Biomedical Ethics, believes that philosophers, particularly those working in rapidly changing fields of medicine, have a crucial role to play.

“Our technical abilities in emerging fields of medicine and scientific research offer tremendous benefits,” Moreno says, “but they also pose powerful challenges to us as a society. How do we strike a humane balance between helping to advance medicine while doing no harm – medically, psychologically or morally?  And who decides, and how?”

Moreno addresses some of these questions in his new book, “Is There an Ethicist in the House? On the Cutting Edge of Bioethics.” Part memoir, part philosophy, part science, part case study, this book illustrates the growing need for ethical awareness in our increasingly technological world. Published by Indiana University Press, the book is scheduled for release on Oct. 1.

Written for medical professionals, scholars and general readers who may confront life-and-death decisions in their personal lives, Moreno's book combines medical history and philosophy with his personal experience as a hospital ethicist for the past 20 years. He touches on the issues raised by end-of-life decision making, experiments with human subjects, the work of ethics committees and bioethicists, new discoveries in the brain sciences, and DNA analysis that can uncover genetically transmitted illnesses, among other topics.

Moreno is a member of the Board on Health Sciences Policy of the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences), and of the Council on Accreditation of the Association of Human Research Protection Programs. He is a past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and has served as senior staff for two presidential commissions.

He also served as co-chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and is member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Ethical Considerations in Prison Research.

Moreno is an ethics commentator for ABCNews.com, a frequent guest for national broadcast news and an oft-quoted expert in major newspapers.

For more information, call Charlene Kaufman at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at (434) 924-5974.

For review copies of the book, call Bryan Gambrel at Indiana University Press, (812) 855-6553, or contact him by email at bpgambre@indiana.edu.

Contact: Charlotte Crystal, (434) 924-6858

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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