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Press Release: Bioethics Society to Host Forum on Organ Donations and Transplants, Mon., April 28, at DeSales University
Date: 4/21/2008

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Bioethics Society to Host Forum on Organ Donations and Transplants, Mon., April 28, at DeSales University

With the ongoing shortage of viable organs and willing donors, a continuing concern is how to ensure that organs are available to those who need them for saving lives.  Amid this crisis, some authorities, such as the prime minister of the United Kingdom, have proposed an "opt out" system, which would make the harvesting of organs an acceptable practice unless the individual explicitly prohibits donation.   In partnership with the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture, the Baranzano Society on bioethics will host a discussion of this and related issues in a public forum on "Opting In or Out? The Ethics of Organ Donations," at 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 28 in the White Pavilion in the DeSales University Center.

During the event, which is free and open to the public, panelists will consider differing national systems of donation, the ethics of living donation, the rights of the deceased, and divergent motivations for the giving and taking of organs in terms of both personal practice and public policy.

"How, when, and why organs are donated are ethical questions involving a complicated set of circumstances, ideals and issues," said Father Thomas Dailey, director of the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture. "In addition to the practical matters of need, availability, and compatibility, there are bioethical matters concerning our view of the human body and personal freedom that vary by culture, religion, and other perspectives."

The panel of experts participating in the forum includes: Dr. Michael Moritz, chief of transplantation surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network; Howard Nathan, director of the Gift of Life Donor Program and Stephen Lammers, Ph.D., Lafayette College religion professor and co-editor of "On Moral Medicine," a standard text in medical ethics. Father Peter Leonard, OSFS, president of the Baranzano Society and dean of graduate studies at DeSales, will moderate the discussion.

The event is presented by The Baranzano Society, a dialogue group of scholars and professionals who explore the mutual and dynamic interchange between science and religion.  The primary focus of the group's work is the investigation of contemporary issues in bioethics, with a view toward promoting critical discernment on the values of human life.  Previous forum topics have included stem cell research, performance enhancing drugs, end of life issues, plastic surgery, obesity and the nursing shortage.

Established in 2000, the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture's mission is to promote the interaction of faith and culture through academic initiatives that focus on the authentic integration of social concerns and gospel values. The Salesian Center supports intellectual activity in research, dialogue events, and partnership programs. For information about the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture, visit the Web site at www.desales.edu/salesian.

Press Release: Bioethics Society to Host Forum on Organ Donations and Transplants, Mon., April 28, at DeSales University | Posted on: 4/21/2008

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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