Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference, hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

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Human embryos in medical research:
Taboo? – Justifiable? – Chance?
9-10 October, 2023


 

Agenda

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9 October, 09.30 – 18.00

from 8.30

Registration

09.30

Opening and welcome
Bettina Stark-Watzinger, German Federal Minister of Education and Research (Germany)

09.50

Greeting
Gerald Haug, President of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (Germany)

10.05

Keynote lecture „Cell biology at the earliest stages of development – perspectives for modern medicine”
Maria Leptin, President of the European Research Council (Germany) 

10.35

Introduction into the field of concern
Bettina Schöne-Seifert, Institute for Medical Ethics, History and Philosophy of Medicine, University of Munster (Germany)
Claudia Wiesemann, Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Goettingen (Germany)
Jochen Taupitz, Senior Professorship of Private Law, Law of Civil Procedure, Private International Law and Comparative Law,  Department of Law, University of Mannheim (Germany)

11.10 Break

Session 1: “Need of research on human embryos in vitro and ethical and legal implications“

11.30

Perspectives of in vitro human embryo research 
Kathy Niakan, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) 

11.50

An Opportunity to Restore Reproductive Health
Amander Clark, Department of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California (United States of America)

12.10

The use of embryos in research – challenges and obstacles for Germany in European context
Jan Ellenberg, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg (Germany)

12.25 Question & answer session
12.40 - 14.00 Lunch
14.05

International Legal Comparative Perspectives on Human Embryo Research
Bartha Maria Knoppers, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University (Canada)

14.25

Constitutional situation from the German Perspective
Friederike Wapler, Department of Philosophy of Law and Public Law, University Mainz (Germany)

14.45 Question & answer session
15.00

Challenges for an ethical-legal discussion  in a pluralistic society 
Wolfgang Huber, former Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany
Michael Quante,
 Department of Philosophy, University of Munster (Germany) 
Christiane Woopen, Center for Life Ethics, University of Bonn (Germany)

15.45 Break
16.15

Panel discussion: “Do we want to dare this progress? - On the debate about human embryos in medical research"
Selected speakers of the session
Alena Buyx, Chair of the German Ethics Council (Germany)
Almut Dorn, Psychosomatic Gynaecology (Germany)
Jan Ellenberg, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Heidelberg (Germany)
Markus Rothhaar, Institute for Philosophy, FernUniversität Hagen (Germany) 

Ulrich Willems, Institute of Political Science, University of Munster (Germany) 
Claudia Wiesemann, Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Goettingen  (Germany)


9 October, 19.30 – 22.00

19.30

Special lecture – open to the public
Introductory remarks

Bettina Schöne-Seifert, Institute for Medical Ethics, History and Philosophy of Medicine,University of Munster (Germany)

James F. Childress, Center for Health Humanities and Ethics, University of Virginia (United States of America)
“Human Embryo Research: Debating Ethical Principles and Moral Status”  

21.00

Open discussion with drinks



10 October, 09.00 – 14.00

Session 2: “Stem cells and derivatives: scientific, ethical and legal implications”
9.30

Potential and limitations in applications of human stem cells and organoids
Christine Mummery, Departmental Biology at Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands)

9.55

Therapeutic approaches using stem cells
Fredrik Lanner, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (Sweden)

10.15 Question & answer session
10.30

Discussion of ethical, legal and social aspects:

Perspective of the National Central Ethics Commission for Stem Cell Research (ZES):
Hans Schöler, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine (Germany)
- Antonio Autiero, Seminary of Moral Theology, University of Munster (Germany)

Patient and Societal perspective:
-
May Evers, Hilde Ulrichs Foundation for Parkinson's Research (Germany)
Mats Hansson, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics, University of Uppsala (Sweden)

Legal classification:
Hans-Georg Dederer, Chair of Constitutional and Administrative Law, Public International Law, European and International Economic Law, University of Passau (Germany)

Ethical perspective:
- Bettina Schöne-Seifert, Institute for Medical Ethics, History and Philosophy of Medicine, University of Munster (Germany)

Open discussion of ethical, legal and social aspects with the panel, extended by:
Friederike Wapler, Department of Philosophy of Law and Public Law, University Mainz (Germany)
Christine Mummery, Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands)

12.45

Interim summary of the plenary sessions and transition to the topics and objectives of the workshops
Peter Dabrock, Institute for Systemic Theology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany)

13.00 Break


10 October, 14.00 – 18.00

Thesesworkshops (multidisciplinary format for in-depth discussion of current issues)
14.15 - 16.15

WS1: Further development of reproductive medicine regulations and their ethical and legal implications for the handling of surplus human embryos.
Workshop Lead:
Jochen Taupitz, Senior Professorship of Private Law, Law of Civil (Germany)
Claudia Wiesemann, Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Goettingen  (Germany)
Moderator:
Eva Winkler, Translational Medical Ethics, University of Heidelberg (Germany)

Impuls talks:
Silvia Deuring, Faculty of Law, LMU Munich (Germany)
Jan Ellenberg, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Heidelberg (Germany)
Sara Gerke, Penn State Dickinson Law (USA)
-  Andy Greenfield, Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health, University of Oxford (UK)

Rapporteur: Henning Rosenau, Faculty of Law and Economics, MLU Halle-Wittenberg (Germany)

14.15 - 16.15

WS2: Framework of research on and with human pluripotent stem cells and human cellular entities ("-oids")
Workshop Lead:
Hans-Georg Dederer, Chair of Constitutional and Administrative Law, Public International Law, European and International Economic Law, University of Passau (Germany)
Moderator:
Ralf Müller-Terpitz, Director of the Institute for German, European and International Medical Law, Health Law and Bioethics at the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim (Germany)
Impuls talks:
Thomas Heinemann, Chair of Ethics, Theory and History of Medicine, Pallotti University Vallendar (Germany)
Hans Schöler, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine Münster (Germany)
- Daniel Besser, German Stem Cell Network, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin (Germany)
Rapporteur: 
Dirk Lanzerath, Head of the German Reference Center for Ethics in the Life Sciences, University of Bonn (Germany)

16.15 Break
17.00

Presentation of workshop results to BMBF
by rapporteurs
- Henning Rosenau, Faculty of Law and Economics, MLU Halle-Wittenberg (Germany)
- Dirk Lanzerath, Head of the German Reference Center for Ethics in the Life Sciences, University of Bonn (Germany)
 

17.45 Closing Remarks

Bettina Stark-Watzinger, German Federal Minister of Education and Research (Germany)

Speakers