With recent and ongoing developments in biotechnology and medicine, Irish engagement in bioethics should be prolific. The current COVID-19 pandemic further highlights the importance of ethical oversight, guidelines, and ongoing discussions. However, since the Irish Council for Bioethics (ICB) ceased to exist in 2010, Ireland has been one of the few European countries without a National Bioethics Council.
While the National Advisory Committee on Bioethics (NACB) was formed in 2012, its scope, activities and autonomy are greatly reduced compared to the ICB, to the point that it has not met since September 2015. In a 2018 article in the Medical Independent, Irish bioethicists highlighted this ‘advisory vacuum’ and lack of bioethical debate in Ireland. Most recently, in the context of COVID-19, the temporary Pandemic Ethics Advisory Group (PEAG) had to be rapidly created in order to create and issue important ethics guidelines. The need for the quick mobilisation of PEAG further highlights the need for a more sustained bioethics structure in the Irish context, for this and for many other emerging ethical issues.
This event will bring together Irish bioethicists, academics, patient and industry representatives, policymakers and the public to address this bioethical ‘vacuum’ over three 90-minute panels.
This event organised by the Royal Irish Academy is sponsored by TU Dublin.
Tickets are available from Event Brite.