Date & Time

Tue, 11/08/2005


The symposium is an educational event for the public regarding policies and ethical issues of human stem cell research. Through lecture and dialogue with two leading scholars in bioethics policy, the symposium will explore issues often ignored by advocates and the media.

Dr. Dresser will address questions relating to the moral status of human embryos; acceptable sources of embryos for research; whether embryos should be created purely for research purposes; and the potential objectification and commercialization of human life.

Dr. Hurlbut will discuss the ethical considerations that must be met to forge a national consensus and suggest a technological solution that will allow both preservation of moral principles and forward progress in stem cell research.

The morning presentations by speakers will be followed by lunch. In the afternoon, an extensive Question and Answer session will draw from questions posed by panelists and symposium attendees. Conversation with you on this critical issue is welcomed.

Tuition (includes lunch): $25 one person; $40 two persons registering together


In Brief. “Bioethics council members to join symposium here on stem-cell research.” The San Diego Tribune. October 6, 2005.

Sandi Dolbee. “Money for research has yet to flow – Many contend issue is still not settled.” The San Diego Tribune. October 20, 2005.


William Hurlbut
Stanford University

William B. Hurlbut is a physician and Consulting Professor in the Neuroscience Institute at Stanford, Stanford University Medical Center. Born in St. Helena, California, he grew up in Bronxville, New York. After receiving his undergraduate and medical training at Stanford, he completed postdoctoral studies in theology and medical ethics, studying with Robert Hamerton-Kelly, the Dean of the Chapel at Stanford, and subsequently with the Rev. Louis Bouyer of the Institut Catholique de Paris. In addition to teaching at Stanford, he served for eight years on the President’s Council on Bioethics.

His primary areas of interest involve the ethical issues associated with advancing biomedical technology, the biological basis of moral awareness, and studies in the integration of theology and philosophy of biology. His courses in biomedical ethics in the Program in Human Biology have included: Biology, Technology and Human Life, and Ethical Issues in the Neurosciences. He has worked with NASA on projects in astrobiology and since 1998 has been a member of the Chemical and Biological Warfare working group at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Dr. Hurlbut has come to national prominence for his advocacy of Altered Nuclear Transfer (ANT), a scientific method of obtaining pluripotent stem cells without the creation and destruction of human embryos. He has spoken all over the world on the intrinsic dignity of human life, including the moral value of the human embryo.

Rebecca Dresser
Washington University Law

Rebecca Dresser is the Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law and Professor of Ethics in Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. 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. Before coming to Washington University, she taught at Baylor College of Medicine and Case Western Reserve University. She was also a National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and a Fellow in Ethics and the Professions at Harvard University. In June-July 2003, she was a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Tokyo, where she taught a short course in law and bioethics. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School.

From 1997-2002, Dresser was a member of the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and from 1997-2001, she served on the Advisory Council of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, a division of the National Institutes of Health. From 1987-1994, she was the Legal Consultant to the Committee on Bioethics of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dresser is a Fellow of the Hastings Center and is one of the “At Law” columnists for the Hastings Center Report, a widely read U.S. bioethics journal.

Her book, “When Science Offers Salvation: Patient Advocacy and Research Ethics,” was published by Oxford University Press in 2001. She is a co-author of “The Human Use of Animals: Case Studies in Ethical Choice” (Oxford University Press, 1998, 2nd ed. 2008) and “Bioethics and Law: Cases, Materials and Problems” (West Publishing Co., 2003). She has also written commissioned papers for the National Academy of Sciences and the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. From 2002-2009, she was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics.