Presidential Bioethics Commission to Discuss Incidental Findings — Tuesday, April 30, 9:00 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (the Bioethics Commission) will publicly meet April 30 in Washington, D.C.

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will conduct its thirteenth meeting on April 30, 2013. At this meeting, the Commission will discuss the ethical implications of incidental findings.

Incidental findings are information gleaned from medical procedures or laboratory tests beyond their stated aims or goals.  They can be discovered in the context of clinical care, research, or commercial direct-to-consumer testing.  Emerging medical technologies, changing cost structures, and evolving medical practice make the likelihood of discovering incidental findings a growing certainty in the clinic, research, and commercial direct-to-consumer contexts.

Where: The Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1001 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

This meeting is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. The Bioethics Commission will do its best to accommodate requests to speak. Written comments will also be accepted and are especially welcome.

Hillary Wicai Viers, Communications Director,

Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues,

1425 New York Avenue NW, Suite C–100, Washington, DC 20005.

Telephone: 202–233–3960.


Anyone planning to attend the meeting who needs special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify Esther Yoo by telephone at (202) 233–3960, or email at in advance of the meeting. The Bioethics Commission will make every effort to accommodate persons who need special assistance. Written comments will also be accepted in advance of the meeting and are especially welcome. Please address written comments by email to, or by mail to the following address: Public Commentary, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, 1425 New York Ave., NW., Suite C–100, Washington, DC 20005. Comments will be publicly available, including any personally identifiable or confidential business information that they contain. Trade secrets should not be submitted.

Watch the webcast:

The meeting will be webcast live on the Bioethics Commission website

The webcast will be archived and transcripts will be posted on the website after the meeting.

Draft Agenda

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.  Welcome and Opening Remarks

Amy Gutmann, Ph.D.

Commission Chair

James W. Wagner, Ph.D.

Commission Vice-Chair


9:15 – 9:30 a.m.  Session 1: Overview of Incidental Findings

Lisa M. Lee, Ph.D., M.S.

Executive Director


9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Session 2: Ethical Challenges of Emerging Technologies

Ruth Schwartz Cowan, M.A., Ph.D.

Janice and Julian Bers Professor Emerita
History and Sociology of Science
University of Pennsylvania
Robert C. Green, M.D., M.P.H.

Associate Director for Research
Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Genetics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Mildred Cho, Ph.D.

Associate Director and Professor of Pediatrics
Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics


10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Session 3: Incidental Findings in Research

Alex John London, M.A., Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy
Carnegie Mellon University
Director, Center for Ethics and Policy
Carnegie Mellon University

Peter Bandettini, Ph.D.

Chief, Section on Functional Imaging Methods
Laboratory of Brain and Cognition
National Institute of Mental Health

Sarah Hilgenberg, M.D.

Recipient of a finding incidental to research


11:30 – 11:45 a.m. Break


11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Session 4: Roundtable Discussion


12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  Lunch Break


1:30 – 2:30 p.m.  Session 5: Incidental Findings in the Clinic
Haavi Morreim, J.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Danielle Ofri, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, New York University School of Medicine
Editor-In-Chief, Bellevue Literary Review

Carol Krucoff

Recipient of a finding incidental to clinical care

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Session 6: Incidental Findings in the Direct-to-Consumer Context

Thomas Donaldson, Ph.D. 

Mark O. Winkelman Professor of Legal Studies

Director, Zicklin Center for Research in Business Ethics
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Gail Javitt, J.D., M.P.H.

Counsel, Sidley Austin LLP
Research Scholar, Berman Institute of Bioethics
Johns Hopkins University

Joanna Mountain, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Research

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.  Break

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.  Session 7: Roundtable Discussion

4:45 – 5:00 p.m.  Closing Remarks

Amy Gutmann, Ph.D.

James W. Wagner, Ph.D.

1 Response

  1. April 25, 2013

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