Lecture on ‘Rethinking Research Ethics’
To Lead Off Public Forum Series at UT Dallas

RICHARDSON, Texas (Nov. 8, 2006) — The University of Texas at Dallas’ Public Forum lecture-discussion series offers public meetings on topics addressing the relationships between human values and medicine, science and technology.  Dr. Rosamond Rhodes will serve as keynote speaker for the first forum, Rethinking Research Ethics, at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 in the McDermott Suite of UT Dallas’ McDermott Library.

Rhodes is professor of medical education and director of bioethics education at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and professor of philosophy at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center.

Clinical research is biomedical research involving people as participants or “subjects.” Since the days of lethal Nazi experimentation on humans without their consent, the ethics of such research has been a priority in conscientious technological societies, said John Sadler, director of UT Dallas’ Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology. 

Scientific research on human subjects is essential to the development of new understandings and treatments for disease, Sadler said.  However, many members of the public worry about the potential for exploiting research volunteers and therefore seek adequate protections for participants. 

In Rhodes’ view, though, current protections for research subjects may be excessive and even deny the public important knowledge and treatments for diseases.  She believes a new philosophy for clinical research ethics is needed, and in this public forum she will present the main features of such a philosophy.

Dr. Fabrice Jotterand, assistant professor of philosophy at UT Dallas and assistant professor of psychiatry (ethics) at UT Southwestern Medical School, will introduce the forum with an overview of the ethics of human experimentation.  Suzanne Rivera, assistant vice president of research services at UT Southwestern, will then describe current federal regulations on the protection of human participants in research.  These two brief lectures provide the background for Rhodes’ talk.  A discussion will follow the formal presentations.

More information about the forum can be found at http://ah.utdallas.edu/season0607/rhodes.htm.

Future forums will feature Dr. Judy Iles of the Stanford University program in neuroethics speaking on Ethics of Brain Imaging Tuesday, Jan. 9; Dr. Erik Parens, senior research scholar at The Hastings Center, talking about Ethics of Biomedical Enhancement Tuesday, May 8; and Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007.

For information about the many musical, arts, theater, dance and other performances and exhibitions held throughout the year at UT Dallas, please call 972-UTD-ARTS (972-883-2787), e-mail utdarts@utdallas.edu, or visit the School of Arts and Humanities’ website at http://ah.utdallas.edu/.  Persons with disabilities needing special accommodations may call 972-883-2982 or Texas Relay Operator at 1-800-RELAYVV.

About UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,500 students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.