Capital Consortium for Neuroscience: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues

Friday, January 14, 2011
10:00AM- 4:00PM

Click here for schedule

Join us for a CCNELSI special event
Use and Misuse of Neurology and Psychiatry: Lessons Learned from the Holocaust

Advances in genetics and neuroscience have enabled considerable progress in neurology and psychiatry. However, such progress also incurs questions, issues and potential problems. Genetic and neuroscientific constructs and characterizations of normality and abnormality are important, both in their own right as important to medical practice, and because they affect – and be can be affected by – social, and political values and agendas that create tensions, if not frank conflict with the ethical imperative of beneficent care of the vulnerable, and marginalized. As we are poised to engage a new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, it becomes evermore important to identify these issues and risks, and explicate the need (and paradigms) for reflection, prudent preparation and responsibility in the ways that any such information is used.

Thus, it is important to re-examine the past, so as to assess the present and work to prevent similar pragmatic and ethical transgressions in the future. The misuses of genetic and neuro-psychiatric science reached a nadir in the events that led to and culminated in the Holocaust, and these provide valuable object lessons with which to address and prevent potential neuroethical risks and harms.

Toward this end, the Capital Consortium for Neuroscience: Ethics, Legal and Social Issues (CCNELSI) is proud to present a one-day symposium and panel discussion addressing - Use and Misuse of Neurology and Psychiatry: Lessons Learned from the Holocaust, to be held on Friday, 14. January 2011 (10:00AM- 4:00PM) at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, 901 N. Stuart Street, Arlington, VA.

Seating will be limited to 50, so RSVP registration is required. Please email RSVPs to: Laurie Kinney at

Speakers and topics include:

Medical ethics in an era of bioethics
Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD

Professor, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and Former Chair, President’s Council for Bioethics (2005-2009)

Nazi medicine: History and putting a face on victims
Patricia Heberer, PhD

Historian, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC

Neurocentricism in medicine and society: Ethical responsibilities for pragmatism and prudence
James Giordano, PhD (
Conference Chair)
Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, DC; Senior Research Associate, Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, University of Oxford, UK

Preserving the promise of genomic research without promoting the eugenics of the past
Kevin FitzGerald, PhD, PhD, SJ

Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC

The architectonics of diagnosis and classification in psychiatry: Reflections on the diagnostic and statistical manual and its ramifications on the cultural representation of mental illness
Daniel Hall-Flavin, MD

Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic, Minneapolis, MN

Why should deaf people continue to exist?: Hearing loss, deaf-gain and the future of human diversity
Dirksen Bauman, PhD

Professor, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC

Neuroethics, law and how the twain might – and should – meet
John K. Hall, MD, JD
Professor, Department of Anesthesia and Pediatrics, University of Mississippi, Jackson, MS

Refreshments will be served, and a wine and cheese reception will follow.