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Debbie O'Leary
IU School of Law--Bloomington

Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Experts to discuss law and ethics of stem cell research at IU symposium

March 19, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An interdisciplinary panel of experts will examine the legal and ethical implications of stem cell research at the 2008 Symposium of Indiana University's Center on Law, Society & Culture.

Titled, "Can and Should We Control Technology? The Future of Stem Cell Research Policy," the symposium will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 27 in the Moot Court Room of the IU School of Law-Bloomington.

Rebecca Dresser

Rebecca Dresser

The keynote speaker will be Rebecca Dresser, the Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law and Professor of Ethics in Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dresser, who has bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana University Bloomington and a law degree from Harvard, is a leading authority on the law and ethics of stem cell research. Since 1983, she has taught medical and law students about legal and ethical issues in end-of-life care, biomedical research, genetics, assisted reproduction and related topics.

Providing comments at the symposium will be Yvonne Cripps, the Harry T. Ice Professor of Law at IU Bloomington, and Sandra Shapshay, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies in philosophy at IU Bloomington and an affiliate faculty member with the IU Center for Bioethics in Indianapolis.

Audience members will also be asked to contribute comments and questions. The symposium will conclude with a reception at which the discussion may be continued informally.

The Center for Law, Society and Culture at the IU School of Law-Bloomington seeks to promote and disseminate a multidisciplinary understanding of law through scholarship, teaching and discussion. It supports research and sponsors workshops, lectures and conferences on topics related to law and society. In previous years, it has conducted symposia on school desegregation, presidential power in an age of terror and other topics.

"This year we wanted to talk about the connection between law and medicine," said Michael Grossberg, co-director of the center and the Sally M. Reahard Professor of History and Professor of Law at IU Bloomington. "Stem cell research seems to us a vehicle for exploring that, since it raises legal, medical and ethical questions."

The symposium is free and open to the public and is designed to be accessible to a range of audiences, including faculty, students and community members. It will be videotaped and will be available later for viewing from the center's Web site at