biometrics, identification, human enhancement
 cloning, genetic modification, animal researchgenetics, dna, stem cell research
forensic, dna, criminal databasesmedical ethics, clinical trials, human biological research

Conferences and Symposia

Biometrics: Enhancing Security or Invading Privacy?

The Council held a Half-Day Symposium on the Scientific, Ethical and Legal Issues Relating to Biometric Technologies on Wednesday 26th November 2007 in the Royal College of Physicians, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
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Environmental Ethics

The Council held a conference on 9 October 2007 with a view to raising awareness of the ethics associated with environmental issues such as climate change, sustainable energy, waste management, nanotechnology and biotechnology.
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Ethical Dilemmas in a Pandemic

Given the threat of an avian flu pandemic, the Council held a conference on 17 October 2006 to facilitate a discussion of the ethical issues pertaining to the control of infectious disease.
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Moral Theory and Health Care Practice

The Irish Council for Bioethics co-sponsored a symposium on moral theory and health care practise, organised by the NUI Galway Philosophy Department’s Centre of Bioethical Research and Analysis (COBRA) from 8th-10th March 2006.
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Forensic DNA Databases:
Balancing Criminal Investigation with Civil Rights

The Council invited three distinguished speakers to address an audience of politicians, civil servants, members of an Garda Síochána and other stakeholders at a symposium entitled “Forensic DNA Databases: Balancing Criminal Investigation with Civil Rights”. They were: Mr Martin Fairley, Head, DNA Section, Strathclyde Police Authority; Mr Ray Byrne, Director of Research, Law Reform Commission and Ms Aisling Reidy, Director, Irish Council for Civil Liberties. Dr Sheila Willis, the director of the National Forensic Science Laboratory, moderated the symposium, which was held on 3rd November 2005.

The primary aim of the symposium was to provide information and encourage analysis of the principal scientific, legal and ethical issues surrounding the collection, use and retention of forensic DNA samples and profiles.

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European National Ethics Committees (NEC) Forum

Under the auspices of the Irish Presidency of the EU, the Irish Council for Bioethics hosted the third NEC Forum in Dublin on 11th June 2004. The meeting was opened with an address by an Tánaiste, Ms Mary Harney TD.

The meeting consisted of discussions on a number of issues such as the fusion of human and animal cells in the development of human-animal chimeras; stem cell research; cloning and xenotransplantation. The Council was delighted to have distinguished researcher Professor András Dinnyés (Animal Biology Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, Hungary) to explain his work in the human-animal chimera area.

European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies Meeting

The Irish Council for Bioethics was delighted to host a meeting with the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) under the auspices of the Irish Presidency of the EU on May 18th 2004. The EGE is an independent, pluralist body that directly advises the European Commission on ethics in science. The meeting consisted of a discussion of the working practices and composition of both the Council and the EGE. The EGE outlined its most current document, Opinion (19) on the Ethical Aspects of Umbilical Cord Blood Banking. The Irish Council for Bioethics reported to the EGE on the work of the Human Biological Materials working group. The process of public consultation was also discussed.

The Ethics of Eating Conference

The Irish Council for Bioethics and the Royal Irish Academy’s National Committee for Nutritional Sciences joint conference “The Ethics of Eating” was held in the Royal Irish Academy on March 24th 2004. Read articles published in the national press... 

The aim of the conference was to provide information and stimulate discussion and debate in the area of ethics and food production, promotion and consumption. The topics discussed during this one-day conference included: obesity, the balance between state intervention and personal choice in relation to health promotion, genetically modified (GM) crops and their potential impact on health and the environment and the ethical and political issues surrounding world hunger.

National Research Ethics Committee Meeting

The Irish Council for Bioethics held a one day meeting for members of Research Ethics Committees on March 23rd 2004. The aim of this meeting was two-fold: firstly, to seek the views and experience of ethics committee members on how best to achieve an optimal framework for the operation of RECs, and secondly, to discuss the practical implications of transposing the EU Clinical Trial Directive into Irish law. The meeting was attended by members and administrators of RECs from various institutions and organisations and representatives from the Department of Health and Children. Topics discussed included: the current structure and composition of RECs in Ireland; the principles of ethical conduct; recruitment of REC members; review processes; archiving documentation and the monitoring of RECs.

Genetics and Disability

The Irish Council for Bioethics co-sponsored a symposium entitled “Genetics and Disability”, organised by the NUI Galway Philosophy Department’s Centre of Bioethical Research and Analysis (COBRA) from 10th-12th March 2004. The symposium considered a wide range of topics relating to genetics and disability and included discussions of child welfare, disability and embryo selection, the eradication of disability, the provision of information about disability during pregnancy, disability and society and the pros and cons of selecting for or against disability.

Stem Cells: Possibilities and Pitfalls

The Irish Council for Bioethics held a morning symposium entitled “Stem Cells–Possibilities and Pitfalls” on the 9th December 2003. The symposium consisted of presentations from three speakers who are leaders in their respective fields: Professor Angelo Vescovi, Director, Stem Cell Institute, Milan; Professor Ruth Chadwick, Institute for Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy, Lancaster University and Professor Alexander Capron, Director of Ethics and Health, WHO, and member of President Clinton’s National Bioethics Advisory Council. The Honourable Mr Justice Francis Murphy, former Supreme Court judge, moderated the symposium.

The primary aim of the meeting was to present an analysis of the principal scientific and ethical issues surrounding stem cell research to an invited audience of politicians and civil servants.

Click here for the conference programme...