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First National Conference on Pediatric Research Bioethics Attracts Global Interest, Internationally-Recognized Speakers

July 28, 2005

The first conference held in the United States focusing on pediatric research bioethics drew a capacity crowd of more than 200 attendees from around the world and featured internationally-recognized leaders in the fields of medicine bioethics and research.

The first conference held in the United States focusing on pediatric research bioethics drew a capacity crowd of more than 200 attendees from around the world and featured internationally-recognized leaders in the fields of medicine bioethics and research.

Presented by the Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, Wash., the conference, entitled Current Controversies in Pediatric Research Ethics, was held July 22-23, 2005 at the Red Lion Hotel in downtown Seattle.

The two-day event focused on current issues in pediatric research, including whether or not regulations that govern clinical trials should be revised, what influence industry and industry funding has on research, clinical practice and publication of findings, and how and when children should participate in research.

Internationally-Recognized Speakers

As part of an impressive lineup of presenters, several internationally recognized authorities on research ethics rounded out the agenda. Keynote speaker Albert R. Jonsen, PhD, author of several books on bioethics and Emeritus Professor of Ethics in Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, addressed the topic of risk vs. benefit.

Jerome P. Kassirer, MD, author of the recently-published book, On the Take: How Medicine’s Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health and Emeritus Editor-in-Chief, New England Journal of Medicine, spoke about the influence of industry, particularly pharmaceutical companies, on research and clinical practice, and the conflicts of interest that arise from interaction with industry.

Catherine DeAngelis, MD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the American Medical Association and Professor of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Norman Fost, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Program in Medical Ethics, University of Wisconsin, also spoke.

Douglas S. Diekema, MD, MPH, Interim Director of Children’s Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Bonnie Ramsey, MD, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, University of Washington School of Medicine, and F. Bruder Stapleton, MD, Pediatrician-in-Chief, Children’s Hospital and Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, represented Children’s Hospital and provided insight as speakers.

Center for Pediatric Bioethics

Our goal is to ensure the rights and protection of children who participate in research studies.
~ F. Bruder Stapleton, MD

“The dynamic interchange between some of the country’s leading medical thought leaders, clinical ethicists and Children’s faculty with an audience of international advocates for children was inspiring, as well as informative.

The conference demonstrated our Center for Pediatric Bioethics as a national resource, and discussions there will certainly influence our research policies. Our goal is to ensure the rights and protection of children who participate in research studies,” says Stapleton.

Children’s Center for Pediatric Bioethics, which opened at Met Park West late last year, educates health care professionals about bioethical issues that affect children and provides a forum for the presentation of views that relate to pediatric bioethical issues.

“Good research is ethical research that requires investigators who take seriously the importance of participant welfare, meaningful informed consent and respect for research participants. Our Center will continue to define and shape the direction of pediatric ethics for practitioners and researchers alike,” explains Diekema.

Center’s Agenda

Among the issues addressed at the conference that remain on the Center’s agenda are:

  • Research in pediatric bioethics
  • Education of medical students, health care professionals and the public
  • Providing a resource for families and health care professionals facing ethical dilemmas in clinical care
  • Serving as an advocate for children who are receiving care and participating in research

About Seattle Children's Hospital

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Children’s has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.seattlechildrens.org.

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