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Keynote Address Themes

There will be three main themes running throughout the keynote addresses of the conference:

The first two addresses will occur on the first day of the conference, and will have the common theme of providing a compendium of the field of Bioethics, and attempting to bring it under a general definition.
Therefore, it is hoped that the first keynote address will give a brief history of the field of Bioethics, as well as highlight the major areas of interest within this very broad, multidisciplinary field.
The second keynote address will focus specifically on novel technological developments. In particular, the ethical dilemmas that might indirectly arise from these developments, and the ways that they may affect daily Canadian life. Additionally, the stance of the Canadian government in relation to funding the development of some of these technologies, and the reasons for funding some and not other technological research initiatives will be critically examined. Another focus of this address will be to examine and discuss the ethical issues arising about the allocation of limited healthcare resources.

On the second day of the conference, the first keynote address shall revolve around eliminating myths and misconceptions related to the limits of human genetic engineering. It is our hope that this address will dispel these misconceptions, and provide education on the actual (current and reasonably forseeable) limits of human genetic engineering. This keynote address should also illuminate possible ethical difficulties with treatments such as gene therapy, bringing them to the forefront of discussion.

The final keynote address, to take place on the afternoon of the second day of the conference will concern itself with international bioethical issues, and will familiarize conference participants with this wide-reaching element of contemporary Bioethics. The central focus of this address will be the debate about how to transfer biomedical technology to developing countries.
Case in point: the ethical problems related to the question of how to most effectively transfer biomedical technology to African countries, as part of the battle against the epidemic of AIDS in Africa. We hope that participants will leave this discussion with an idea of what is currently being done in this respect, and some notions of what ought to be done to most effectively address this grave situation.

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