Bioethics Commission Continues To Focus On Incidentals; Will Also Engage The BRAIN

The President’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will meet in Philadelphia on August 19 and 20th, the fourteenth meeting in its current form.  While there is no agenda on the Commission website right now, the Federal Register notice linked to mentions two major items.

The Commission will continue its work on incidental findings – research results derived from human subjects research on unrelated matters (which poses ethical issues given standard practices regarding consent for research).  I would anticipate hearing during the meeting when the Commission may release a report related to incidental findings.

It will also engage with the BRAIN Initiative.  While that was only a well-educated guess when the initiative was rolled out in April, the President made it official in July. Per the President’s request the Commission will not limit itself to considerations of proper ethical research practices in neuroscience, but also to consider relevant applications of this research and the possible ethical consequences.

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