October 5, 2007

Chairman of President's Council on Bioethics speaks at Scott Hall

Leon R. Kass, M.D., Ph.D., delivered a thought-provoking talk on the use of biotechnology to "pursue happiness and perfection, both of the body and of the mind" at the 2005 Dean's Distinguished Lecture Monday in Scott Hall. Dr. Kass is chairman of President George Bush's Council on Bioethics and the Addie Clark Harding Professor in the College and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Kass raised several questions about the nature of biotechnological development, which he said is pursued initially to prevent and cure disease, but can be coopted, particularly by the commercial market, for general human improvement. He raised several cautionary arguments during his address.

"A flourishing human life is not a life lived with an ageless body or untroubled soul, but rather a life lived in rhythmed time, mindful of time's limits, appreciative of each season and filled first of all with those intimate human relations that are ours only because we are born, age, replace ourselves, decline and die -- and know it," Dr. Kass said.

To view Dr. Kass's full address, including a question-and-answer session following the talk, please visit http://www.med.wayne.edu/news_media/streamingmedia/somevents/index.asp.


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