From Stem Cells to Jail Cells

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 11:30am to 1:00pm

Mississippi Room, Coffman Memorial Union

Following this lecture, participants should be able to:
 This lecture will address the history of the legal and ethical debates surrounding embryo research, with special attention to the role of social movements and party politics in the construction of the ethical arguments. Prof. Charo will address evolving discussions concerning the moral status of the embryo, arguments concerning taxpayer complicity with federally financed research, and the interplay between social movements opposing new reproductive technologies or biotechnology and those associated with opposition to abortion. She will compare the U.S. experience with the experiences in other countries.

  • Articulate arguments about the legality and funding of embryo research.
  • Discuss the evolving nature of arguments concerning the moral status of embryos, in light of new research on genetic uniqueness, potentiality, and forms of conception. 


R. Alta Charo is the Elizabeth S. Wilson-Bascom Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she is on the faculty of the Law School and the Medical School's Department of Medical History and Bioethics. She offers courses on health law, bioethics and biotechnology law, food & drug law, medical ethics, reproductive rights, torts, and legislative drafting. In addition, she has served on the UW Hospital clinical ethics committee, the University's Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects in medical research, and the University's Bioethics Advisory Committee. She is a former member of the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel and the National Bioethics Advisory Committee.

April 20, 2005