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September 28, 2007

Steroids, blood doping, and beyond:

Noted ethicist will address sports ethics at Oct. 10 U-M lecture

ANN ARBOR, MI – Barry Bonds. Floyd Landis. The National Basketball Association betting scandal. Professional football's concussion controversy.

What do all of these things have in common? They're the most highly visible, and widely discussed, examples of a range of current ethical issues involving sports and society. From steroids and game-fixing to the lingering physical effects of a competitive career, these issues and more are crucial to the future of sport around the world.

On Wednesday, October 10, a noted medical ethics expert will speak at the U-M Health System on how these issues, and others, affect our perceptions of the human body and how it can and should be used — and abused — for the sake of athletic achievement.

The lecture will begin at 4 p.m. in Ford Auditorium at University Hospital and will be followed by a reception. It's the 12th annual Waggoner Lecture on Ethics and Values in Medicine, sponsored by the U-M Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry.

The speaker will be Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D., President of The Hastings Center, one of the nation's leading ethics "think tanks." The title of his talk is “Ethics, Genetics and the Future of Sport.”

Murray is also the Chair of the Ethical Issues Review Panel of the World Anti-Doping Agency, which promotes, coordinates, and monitors the fight against doping in sports in all its forms, as well as a past member of the US Olympic Committee’s Anti-Doping Committee, and the former director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.

The Hastings Center is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit bioethics research institute founded in 1969 to explore fundamental and emerging questions in medicine, health care, biotechnology. Much of the Center’s research addresses bioethics issues in three broad areas: care and decision making at the end of life, public health priorities, and new and emerging technologies. The Center draws on a world-wide network of experts, including an elected association of leading researchers called Hastings Center fellows, and publishes The Hastings Center Report, a noted journal of ethics scholarship.

The Waggoner lectureship is named for the late Raymond Waggoner, M.D., who died in June, 2000 at the age of 98. He was chair of the U-M Department of Psychiatry for 33 years, from 1937 to 1970. Waggoner was a noted U-M psychiatrist, medical administrator and government advisor who was one of the first to see mental illness as both an emotional and physical problem.

Written by Kara Gavin



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