Center News - Winter 2002

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Center Creates Clinical/Biotech Ethics Working Groups

The Center is establishing two working groups to reflect its two major areas of focus—clinical ethics and biotech ethics. The clinical ethics group is being led by CBHD’s Director of Clinical Ethics Robert Orr, M.D., and the biotech ethics group is being led by Senior Fellow C. Christopher Hook, M.D. Each group will focus on keeping abreast of the newest issues and will work on projects addressing breaking issues in their area. If you have the expertise and are interested in participating in one of these groups, send the Center an email at or contact Carrie Wiebe at (847)311-7124.

Cameron, Singer Clash in Oakland Debate

Senior Fellow Nigel Cameron and Princeton Professor Peter Singer had a lively debate over the question “What does it mean to be human?” at an Oakland, California theater on June 7th. Before the debate even began, attendees had to forge their way through a crowd of approximately 70 protesters, who at times succeeded in blocking the entrance to the facility. Speaking to an audience of over 500, Cameron and Singer outlined their perspectives on what makes human life valuable and when it should or should not be protected. Cameron insisted on the indivisibility of human dignity, while Singer argued that a right to life depends upon certain capacities that are not held by all human beings but which do extend to certain animals. The debate was punctuated by occasional outbursts from some in the disability community who had to be ushered from the building. The event was produced by the Center for Bioethics and Culture and was co sponsored by CBHD. Tapes of the debate are available at