James F. Childress to Deliver Inaugural Johnson & Johnson Lecture

Lexington, VA Wednesday, March 04, 2009


James F. Childress
Dr. James F. Childress, Professor of Ethics and Medical Education at the University of Virginia, will deliver the inaugural lecture of the new Johnson & Johnson Law and Medicine Colloquium Series at the Washington and Lee School of Law. The topic of his remarks will be "Controversies about Human Dignity: Implications for Biotechnology."

"We could not be more pleased that Johnson & Johnson is partnering with Washington and Lee to raise important health policy questions," said Robin F. Wilson, professor of law at W&L and director of the Series.   "With so many academic medical centers in the Commonwealth where basic science research is conducted, Professor Childress's comments have special salience."

Added Wilson "It is important not to lose sight of human dignity in the rush to advance medical technology and to push the technological envelope.  Nadya Suleman's octuplets is only the most recent example that just because we can accomplish a particular technological feat does not mean that we should."

The lecture is scheduled for Thursday, March 19th beginning at 12:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall. The talk will be preceded by a reception at 11:30 a.m. in the Moot Court Room Lobby. This event is open to the public. To attend, please R.S.V.P. to Elizabeth Christensen at  christensene@wlu.edu or 540-458-8358.

James F. Childress is the John Allen Hollingsworth Professor of Ethics and Professor of Medical Education at the University of Virginia, where he teaches in the Department of Religious Studies and directs the Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life.  Dr. Childress is widely regarded as the founder of the field of biomedical ethics. Among his many honors, Dr. Childress received in 2004 the Life-Time Achievement Award from the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

 "I want to thank Johnson & Johnson for helping make the Colloquium Series possible," added Prof. Wilson. "Our hope is that this lecture series will spark a robust discussion of health policy issues in Virginia and beyond."

Wilson herself has been recognized for her work in the field of bioethics. In 2007, she earned one of 10 "citizen lawmaker" awards presented by Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle County, for her research on a new Virginia state law prohibiting unauthorized pelvic exams by medical students. She is also one of the editors of the forthcoming book Health Law and Bioethics: Cases in Context (Aspen Publishing), with Sandra Johnson, Joan Krause, and Richard Saver.

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