The Irish Council for Bioethics was established in 2002 as an independent, autonomous body to consider the ethical issues raised by developments in science and medicine.
The establishment of the council was recommended by the Government report of the Inter-Departmental Group on Modern Technology, published in 2000.
The Royal Irish Academy nominates the membership and provides the secretariat for the council. However, the council remains independent of the academy and is funded by a grant from Forfás.
The recommendations of the council have no statutory basis, but are intended to serve as a guide for the scientific and medical community here.
Copies of today’s report will be circulated to key Government departments, including Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Health and Children, and Education and Science, as well as every TD and Senator in the country.
The council was previously chaired by the former attorney general, Dermot Gleeson SC.
Its current membership consists of:
Dr Dolores Dooley (chairwoman), a retired lecturer and philosopher previously based at UCC;
Dr Peter McKenna (vice-chairman), Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Rotunda Hospital;
Mr Asim A Sheikh, BL (vice-chairman), Forensic and Legal Medicine, School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin;
Dr Alan Donnelly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick;
Professor Andrew Green, School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, and the National Centre for Medical Genetics, Our Ladys Hospital for Sick Children;
Professor Linda Hogan, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin;
Dr Richard Hull, Department of Philosophy, National University of Ireland Galway;
Professor John Vincent McLoughlin, Department of Physiology, Trinity College Dublin;
Stephen McMahon, Irish Patients Association;
Professor Cliona OFarrelly, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin;
Dr Darina OFlanagan, Health Protection Surveillance Centre;
Professor Richard OKennedy, School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University; and
Professor David Smith Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
The Council’s website is: www.bioethics.ie