Bioethics and Biotechnology


Council of European Churches Church and Society Commission Working Group on Bioethics and Biotechnology

The Working Group met on 15-16 April 2005.

Present : Rev Kirsti AALTO (FI), Prof Sven ANDERSEN (DK), Prof Stavros BALOYANNIS (GR), Dr Donald BRUCE (UK), Dr Andrea DÖRRIES (DE), Rev Anton ILIN, Dr Mireille JEMELIN (CH), Prof Karsten LEHMKÜHLER (F), Prof Elena MASAROVICOVA (SK), Prof Anna ROLLIER (IT), Prof Egbert SCHROTEN (NL - Moderator), Rev Dr Stefan-Ioan STRATUL (RO).
Staff : Mme Marie-Madeleine LINCK, Rev Richard FISCHER
Invited as expert : Mrs Katrin HATZINGER

1. The Moderator welcomed Katrin HATZINGER, a lawyer who works for the EKD office in Brussels. Although she is not a member of the WG, she may be invited – after consultation between the Moderator and the Executive Secretary - on an ad hoc basis as an external expert to its meetings, whenever this seems appropriate in view of ensuring a better communication between the agenda of the EU institutions and the activities of the WG, including the attendance, on behalf of the WG, of some meetings, conferences etc. organised by the EU.

2. Priority is currently given to 3 topics :
a) On Ageing, following aspects should be tackled : definition; biological and medical facts; the philosophical, moral, theological and pastoral dimensions; the notion of dignity; the link with human enhancement; the cultural aspect; the quality of life issue; finally an overview on what the churches are doing. The work is coordinated by one member while four others are giving their written contributions.
b) On >Human Enhancement, there should be: definition; some examples; rethinking the philosophy of medicine; moral aspect in the light of Christian ethics. The same working method will be applied.
c) On Stem Cells, a short up-date has been prepared as a reflection and discussion paper. It is annexed and the Executive Committee is asked to examine and to adopt/amend it.

3. In addition, there was a brainstorming at the last meeting about a possible work on Ethics, Science and Technology in general, according to the Work Programme 2004-2009. The results of it will be discussed by the CSC Collegium in view of continuing the debate with other sectors of CEC.

4. A member of the WG and the Executive Secretary took part in :

  • the Science and Society Forum organised by the European Commission in March
  • the meeting of the Conference of the National Ethics Committees in Europe (COMETH) followed by the Steering Committee on Bioethics of the Council of Europe (CDBI).

RF 17 May 05