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TODAY news for Thursday, April 14, 2008

Loma Linda University news

Center for Christian Bioethics completes Provonsha Lecture Series

The Center for Christian Bioethics hosted its final lecture in the second biannual Jack W. Provonsha Lecture Series on Thursday, March 6.

Sarah-Vaughn Brakman, PhD, spoke on the now-established practice of adoption of frozen embryos. She is a Roman Catholic scholar publishing on this particular topic.

Dr. Brakman is one of nine lecturers who have spoken for this series sponsored by the Center for Christian Bioethics.

Mark Carr, PhD, director of the Center invited these distinguished lecturers to focus on the topic of the moral status of the human embryo. The lecturers are also providing the primary content for two courses offered through the School of Religion. Almost 30 students are participating in the classes.

Each lecture is concluded with questions gathered from the audience that are then posed to the speaker. On more than one occasion, audience members wanted to know if stem cell research should be done on the campus of Loma Linda University.

The speakers, of course, offered a variety of answers to this pressing question.

“The University is now in the final stages of drafting a policy to address this question which, in the end, may not turn out to be as pressing as we have thought,” says Dr. Carr. “Newer technologies are emerging that may allow research on cells whose therapeutic qualities are just as promising, but whose origins are not as morally problematic as human embryonic stem cells.”

The Provonsha Lecture Series talks will eventually be published in book form. In addition, DVD recordings of the lectures may be available via the Internet through a creative connection with the ResearchChannel.

The Center for Christian Bioethics is currently in the second year of a contract with the ResearchChannel to broadcast some of its hosted lectures via cable TV and Internet technologies. The Center for Christian Bioethics, in conjunction with the Center for Spiritual Life & Wholeness, currently hosts monthly talks on the campus of Loma Linda University titled the Health and Faith Forum. Many of these presentations are sent to the ResearchChannel and become available on-line.

“In fact, recently, with their partnership with iTunes University and YouTube, the ResearchChannel has noted that some of its most popular downloads are the presentations that the Health and Faith Forum has provided,” adds Dr. Carr. “We’ve made it into iTunes University’s top 100 downloads, which means tens of thousands are watching on-line and on their iPods!”

By Dustin R. Jones, MA and Mark Carr, PhD

TODAY news for Thursday, April 14, 2008