Category Archives: IUCB People

Conference on Infant Mental Health to Focus on Ethics

The Indiana Association for Infant and Toddler Mental Health will hold its 13th Annual Conference on Infant Mental Health on August 12, 2011 at the Riley Outpatient Center at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis. This year’s conference is entitled, “Ethics in Early Childhood Fields: A Moral Psychological Approach.”

The conference features keynote presentations by Darcia Narvaez, PhD and Daniel Lapsley, PhD, both from University of Notre Dame; a presentation discussing ethics in early childhood by Margaret Gaffney, MD, of the IU Center for Bioethics; interactive sessions moderated by IU Conscience Project members; and a panel discussion highlighting practical applications of the information presented throughout the day. Continuing education is available for social workers, psychologist, and physicians (see brochure for details).

Sponsors and partners for this year’s conference include: the Indiana Department of Child Services, Indiana Head Start Collaboration Office, Indiana State Department of Health’s Sunny Start Project, Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, the Indiana University Conscience Project, the Indiana University Center for Bioethics and the Riley Child Development Center LEND Program.

Please note that you can register by mail/FAX using the form in the brochure OR online through the MHAI website:


Eric M. Meslin Appointed to IOM Committee

Eric M. Meslin, Ph.D., Director of the IU Center for Bioethics and Associate Dean for Bioethics IUSM, has been appointed to the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Drug Safety and Post-Marketing Requirements by IOM President Harvey Feinberg. The Committee has been asked by the FDA to evaluate the scientific and ethical issues involved in conducting studies of the safety of approved drugs. Questions to be explored by the committee include:

1. What are the ethical and informed consent issues that must be considered when designing randomized clinical trials to evaluate potential safety risks?
2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches, including observational studies, including patient registries, meta-analyses, including patient-level data meta-analyses, and randomized controlled trials, to generate evidence about safety questions?
3. Considering the speed, cost, and value of studies, what types of follow-up studies are appropriate to investigate different kinds of signals (detected pre-approval or post-marketing) and in what temporal order?
4. Under what circumstances should head-to-head randomized clinical trials for safety be required?
5. How should FDA factor in different kinds of safety evidence in considering different kinds of regulatory actions?

The Committee is charged with reporting its findings in March 2011. Complete information including the IOM Committee roster is available at:

This Month at the Center for Bioethics

This month at the Indiana University Center for Bioethics, we are pleased to welcome a new faculty investigator. Katherine Drabiak-Syed, J.D., has joined us to work on our Predictive Health Ethics Research program. Katherine’s expertise on the legal and policy issues of genetic research and medicine are valuable addition to our team.

We are also proud to announce new publications from two of our faculty investigators, Kimberly Quaid and Peter Schwartz. Quaid contributed to an article reporting the results of study examining the effect of genotype disclosure regarding patient risks for Alzheimer’s disease. The study of 162 asymptomatic adults demonstrated that “the disclosure of APOE genotyping results to adult children of patients with Alzheimer’s disease did not result in significant short-term psychological risks” (Green RC, Roberts JS, Cupples LA, Relkin NR, Whitehouse PJ, Brown T, Eckert SL, Butson M, Sadovnick AD, Quaid KA, Chen C, Cook-Deegan R, Farrer LA; REVEAL Study Group. Disclosure of APOE genotype for risk of Alzheimer’s disease. N Engl J Med. 2009 Jul 16;361(3):245-54. PMID: 19605829). Schwartz’s article also addressed the communication of health risks. In his paper Schwartz examines the reasons for and against sharing comparative risk information with patients. He argues in favor of sharing comparative risk information and concludes that criticisms “of disclosing this sort of information to patients … rests on a mistakenly narrow account of the goals of prevention and the nature of rational choice in medicine” (Schwartz PH. Disclosure and rationality: comparative risk information and decision-making about prevention. Theor Med Bioeth. 2009;30(3):199-213. PMID: 19551490).

Finally, our faculty investigators were busy in the media. Eric Meslin shared his summer reading list with Sound Ethics and discussed The Future of Bioethics with the author Howard Brody. Also, we were all pleased to watch Aaron Carroll discuss health care reform with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report, July 21, 2009.

— J.O.

Ethics Exchange: Western Australia

Indiana University Center for Bioethics director Eric Meslin recently

Those pictured from left are Dr. Eric Meslin, Dr. Fiona Stanley, U.S. Consul General Dr. Ken Chern, and Dr. Lyn Beazley. Source: Reception in Honor of Dr. Eric Meslin, Perth — 12 May 2009. 2009 Public Affairs Programs, Consulate General of the United States - Perth, Australia.

Those pictured from left are Dr. Eric Meslin, Dr. Fiona Stanley, U.S. Consul General Dr. Ken Chern, and Dr. Lyn Beazley. Source: Reception in Honor of Dr. Eric Meslin, Perth — 12 May 2009. 2009 Public Affairs Programs, Consulate General of the United States - Perth, Australia.

returned from his trip to Australia. While adding to our growing collaborations with researchers and ethicists in Australia, Eric served as Visiting Professor-at-Large at the University of Western Australia. Recently, the IU Center for Bioethics, the Indiana CTSI, and the Indiana University School of Medicine, were pleased to welcome Lynette Fernandes from the UWA School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Pharmacology and Anaesthesiology Unit. During her visit, Dr. Fernandes exchanged ideas and compared notes on our institutions’ responsible conduct of research training programs.


Beating swine flu. Karen Dearne, Australian IT. May 26, 2009
e-Health ‘could take fight to swine flu’. Sky News, May 31, 2009.
Visiting professor brings bioethical discussion to Perth. Laura Glitsos, ScienceNetwork Western Australia. 2 June 2009.

Sound Medicine: Aaron Carroll and Health Policy

Sound MedicineAaron Carroll, M.D., M.S., of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics and a health services researcher with the Indiana University Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research, will discuss Obama’s health care reform plans on Sound Medicine this weekend.

If you miss the show, you can always listen to podcasts available from the Sound Medicine website or the Sound Medicine Facebook page.

Eric Meslin at the EuroBio 2008 – House of Commons Debates

On October 7, 2008 Eric Meslin, PhD, was one of the lead debaters discussing six hot topics relevant to the progress of Europe’s biotechnology sector.  The EuroBio House of Commons Debates are conducted with “all the pomp, deference and carnage of the British politics”.  EuroBio 2008 was billed as “THE Life Sciences Event of the European Union Presidency”. The event was held at the Palais des Congrès conference centre in Paris, France.

Eric M. Meslin Awarded the Chevalier

Pierre Vimont and Eric Meslin

Pierre Vimont and Eric Meslin

On April 23, 2008 IUCB Director, Eric M. Meslin, Ph.D. was awarded the Chevalier de l‘Ordre National du Mérite [Knight of the National Order of Merit] by the French Government. The insignia was presented at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. by the French Ambassador to the United States, Pierre Vimont (see photo). The Chevalier is an Order of Chivalry by the President of French Republic, founded on December 3, 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle and is given for distinguished civil and military achievements. Dr. Meslin was made a Chevalier for his contributions to bioethics policy in France over the past 10 years.