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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 14, 2005

UI To Host Bioethics Seminar Sept. 19-20

A group of bioethics scholars will gather at the University of Iowa and via videoconference Sept. 19-20 for a symposium on "Disability Ethics: Developing the Moral Distinctiveness of a Disability Perspective in Bioethics." Those on campus will meet in room 301 Lindquist Center, while others will participate from sites at the University of Illinois-Chicago and San Francisco State University.

The symposium is funded by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and the UI College of Education and is hosted by the Institute on Ethics in Disability Policy and Rehabilitation Practice of the UI Colleges of Education and Law.

The Symposium will be facilitated by professors from the UI, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois-Chicago. They are:

-- Vilia Tarvydas, professor and program coordinator of the graduate programs in rehabilitation in the UI College of Education's Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation, and Student Development; and director of the Institute on Ethics in Disability Policy and Rehabilitation Practice;

-- Kristi Kirschner, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, attending physician at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and director of the Center for the Study of Disability Ethics;

-- Carol Gill, director of graduate studies and Ph.D. programs in disabilities at the University of Illinois-Chicago, assistant professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development, and director of the Chicago Institute of Disability Research.

The first day of the symposium, Sept. 19, is open to observation by interested researchers in room 301 Lindquist Center, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Presenters will more clearly define this distinct, interdisciplinary approach to bioethics and the issues it raises. In addition to Krischner and Gill, presenters include Adrienne Asch, Yeshiva University; Diane Coleman, founder and president of Not Dead Yet; Steven Drake, Not Dead Yet; Ron Amundson, University of Hawaii at Hilo; James Charlton, University of Illinois-Chicago; and Sunil Kothari, Baylor College of Medicine. 

On Sept. 20, the symposium will continue in closed session, and the participants will discuss preparation for a textbook to serve as a seminal work in this emerging approach to bioethics. Tarvydas, Krischner and Gill will serve as co-editors for the production of this disability ethics textbook.

The UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies supports symposia and collaborations that bring together researchers from different fields in order to address particularly complex problems. Recent symposia have focused on professional ethics, child development, and digital literature.

For more information, or accommodations for disability needs, call 319-335-5275 or contact Tarvydas at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: Vilia Tarvydas,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, .