Teaching the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications
of the Human Genome Project:

A Model College Course




From left to right:
Front row, : Don T. Dugi, Ronald Green, Karen E. Jackson, Peter Longo
Middle: David Bzik, Frances M. Alexakos, Peggy Connolly, Maria Graciela de Ortuzar, & Buzz Scherr
Back row: Nick J Goulding, Ellwood F. Oakley, III, Antonieto S. Tan, Barbara Hillinger, Daniel Shartin, Paul Mills, & Lelan D. McReynolds


The Faculty Participants were asked to provide a brief biographical summary of their experience, interests and background in preparation for reporting on the Dartmouth Summer 1998 Institute. What follows are these statements, as submitted from each participant (and thus not uniform in format):

Frances M. Alexakos, C.A.G.S. (ABD)

Frances M. Alexakos received a BA in psychology from the University of Massachusetts in 1970 and in 1972 she earned a MA in psychology and counseling from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is currently writing her Ph.D. Humanities dissertation on Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Attitudes on Ordering Genetic Tests for Breast Cancer. She has been an Adjunct faculty member at Johnson and Wales University, Community College of Rhode Island, and Roger Williams College since 1978, teaching courses in Psychology, Sociology, Aging, and Adjustment to Stress. Mrs. Alexakos is also employed as a school counselor in Westerly, Rhode Island.

Interests in HGP
Mrs. Alexakos interests in the ethical, legal, and social implications the Human Genome Project began with experiences as a Medical Social Worker responsible for genetic counseling with Muscular Dystrophy patients at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts and at Roger Williams Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. It became apparent that there were mounting tensions between physicians trying to do the best for their patients, the utilization review board, and insurance companies trying to reduce cost. Because of her involvement in a campaign for citizen education on health care reform, Mrs. Alexakos received a grant from the Kaiser Foundation and the League of Women Voters to be the Rhode Island Director of the Health Care Reform movement in 1994. Among other things, she produced a PPS television panel show that included members of the Rhode Island legislature, medical insurance companies, and a selected audience (a representative sample of the Rhode Island population with special efforts to engage the various multicultural groups m Rhode Island) with a telephone call in component. Following the success of this production, Mrs. Alexakos produced a TCI Cable television program called SOCIAL TRENDS (1994-96) addressing issues of Medical Ethics and topics of social, legal, and ethical controversy. Finally, she helped Senator Walter Gray develop and edit the Rhode Island Ethics Law.

Mrs. Alexakos will market this course to several Liberal Arts Institutions, the RI Health Department, and will develop educational programs for the public utilzing cable television in Rhode Island. Both Salve Regina University and Johnson and Wales University supported Mrs. Alexakos attending the Dartmouth Faculty Ethics Institute to develop a multidisciplinary course on the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project. Additionally, Mrs. Alexakos has an appointment with The President of the University of Rhode Island on August 18, 1998 to discuss this course (URI has recently developed a Forensic DNA lab for the State of Rhode Island). Additionally, The Rhode Island Department of Health has requested she be part of a team to discuss genetic education in the state and the March of Dimes has requested she be part of a team to educate people working in the Health Care professions. She will attend a March of Dimes workshop on October 6, 1998.

Peggy Connolly, Ed.D.,
Peggy is the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) Mentorship Coordinator. IMSA is a public, residential secondary school for students gifted in mathematics and science. Approximately 25% of the Academy's students are engaged through the Mentorship Program in increasingly independent research project under the guidance of scientists and scholars in the Chicago area. Committed to the inclusion of ethics as an integral component of student research, Dr. Connolly started the Research Ethics Resource Center at the Academy. She serves on the Board of Directors for Central DuPage Health System, the Ethics Committee of Central DuPage Hospital, and the Northwestern University/Northwestern Medical School Office for the Protection of Research Subjects ACU Committee.

Dr. Connolly has been extensively involved policy and public policy, including serving as legislative chair, policy chair and board chair of the College of DuPage Board of Trustees, Illinois Community College Trustees Association Federal Relations Chair, an associate board member of the national Association of Community College Trustees, and advisor to Representative Vince Persico. In addition to developing educational curricula and programs, Dr. Connolly's involvement in the community and legislative advocacy will be a basis for developing awareness of the ethical, legal, and social implications of the Human Genome Project and encouraging community involvement in shaping public policy regarding the ethical use of genetic technology and information.

Don T. Dugi,
Don Thomas Dugi is Professor of Political Science at Transylvania College, a small liberal arts college in Lexington, Ky. Dugi teaches many different courses in politics and a few in social theory, the former aimed at creating a viable major for undergraduates, the latter reflecting better his own current interests (which involve in various forms the relationships between "nature" and "culture").

Nick J Goulding, AdvDipTheol., BSc (Hons), PhD
Nick Goulding was born in Salisbury, England in 1956 and and received his high school education in the city of Lincoln in the English Midlands. He graduated from the University of Southampton in 1978, receiving a BSc degree in Physiology and Biochemistry with honours. Following a graduate programme in Immunopathology at the University of Southampton, he was awarded a PhD in 1982. Dr Goulding held a one year post-doctoral fellowship in microbiology at Southampton University Hospital, studying the pathogenesis of chronic ocular inflammation. He then moved to the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath where he took up an appointment as Senior Research Fellow and later Principal Research Fellow in Rheumatology from 1982 - 1992. During this time his research interests developed in the field of rheumatoid arthritis and the mechanism of action of the glucocorticoid hormones in the suppression of inflammation. Since 1992 Dr Goulding has been Head of the Arthritis Research Section and Senior Lecturer, first within St Bartholomew's Medical College London and latterly, of the St Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry. He was acting Head of the Department of Rheumatology at St Bartholomew's from 1993-1995. Dr Goulding has 130 scientific publications in the area of rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation and has lectured world-wide on this subject. In 1992 he was accepted by the Church of England for training for the non-stipendary ordained ministry, was made Deacon in 1997 and Priest in 1998. He has a part-time responsibility as a Chaplain to the School of Medicine and Dentistry and is involved in several initiatives in the Diocese of London relating to medical ethics. He is due to begin teaching on the undergraduate and postgraduate degree course in the Fall of 1998 in the area of the ethics of genetic research and medical practice. Dr Goulding lives in Harpenden, Hertfordshire; is married to Jenny and they have two children, Peter (15) and Emily (13).

Maria Graciela de Ortuzar
I'm a teacher of Philosophy and Bioethics at the Universidad Nacional de la Plata. I studied for my master's in the same university, too. Now, I work at the Universidad de la Plata in the Medicine College, in the Humanities College, in the Health Ministry, and in research at the National Institute of Research in Argentina (CONICET).

I live in la Plata. I love working in the hospital, too. My research subject was 'Definition of Death&##( and "Ethics and Organ Transplantation."I was in contact with the people who wait for organs and I helped the doctors and families in the I.C.U. to make the decisions to donate. The goal of this was to try to study the epistemological and psychological problems to communicate the death of the patient and to the family and to educate to all doctors and community about the ethical context of organ transplantation. So, I began to teach courses in the school, in the University, and in the professional community. Then I studied our legislature, proposed modifications, worked on a commission.

Nowadays, I have prepared a paper directed at the legislation of organ transplants in the Mercosur. It will be published in Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina. I presented a paper in Washington last year in an international congress and I will do part of a book about the "Ethics in Organ Transplantation in ? that will be published in the USA.

The most important thing of all is that I work in the hospital near the people that need help and I study and propose new methodologies and legislation. You can help all there people because you know what they need, what they feel, and how you can fight for all these important lives, for their rights. I hope to do the same in the genetic subject.

Karen E. Jackson
Dr. Karen E. Jackson is Assistant Professor of Biology and Marine Science at Jacksonville University. She is responsible for teaching immunology, cell biology, recombinant DNA methodologies, animal physiology, and introductory biology. Trained as a developmental immunologist, she is now conducting undergraduate research in manatee population genetics (and immunology). Her other university responsibilities include serving on the faculty affairs committee, honors council and undergraduate research council. This August, she was named Department Chair and Co-Division Chair (science and mathematics).

Dr. Jackson applied for the summer institute with the initial goal of educating nonscientists about the science. However, she now realizes the importance of training the future scientists of the world that there are consequences to their inquiries. She will be offering an ELSI course at Jacksonville University in Fall 1999. Additionally, she plans to augment the recombinant DNA methodology and genetics courses with ELSI components. Finally, JU issues a media and speakers guide where professors list their areas of expertise and talks for community interest. She will augment her current list of topics to include the human genome project and some of the ELS issues arising from this endeavor.

Peter Longo
Peter Longo is a native Nebraskan. He received his BA in history from Creighton (1980) his JD (1982) and PhD (1986, political science) from U of NE. Peter taught at Benedictine College (1986-88) and his been teaching at UNK since 1988. Longo is interested in environmental politics and public law. He recently served on the Nebraska Constitutional Revision Commision ( 1995-97), a commission charged with reviewing and re-writing the Nebraska constitution.

Lelan D. ('Lee') McReynolds
Education: Princeton, A.B., Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Union Theological Seminary (New York), M.Div.; University of Michigan Law School, J.D.

Employment: Parish minister; attorney; mediator for the Indiana Bar; chaplain, Air Force Reserve (Air Combat Command Langley VA); and lecturer, Biology 211/212, 'The Social Impact of the Biological Sciences,' Purdue University, West Lafayette IN

Avocational Interests: Music, running, basketball, and tennis.

Family: Joyce McReynolds (wife), psychiatric nurse and linguist.

Paul R. Mills, Jr. Ph.D.
Paul is an associate professor in sociology/social work and religion at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Stillman is an historic black college serving one thousand students, predominantly African American, in a variety of majors for the baccalaureate degree. Dr. Mills is also an ordained Lutheran Pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

His interest in the Ethics Institute's program on the genome project includes his questions of: one, how will knowledge of DNA sequencing serve and impact minority populations; two, how will social facts­ cultural values, pluralism, racism, sexism, ageism issues impact the progress towards mapping DNA, genetic testing programs, and genetic treatments; and three, does biological (genetic) determinism limit our understanding of what it means to be human or how we can incorporate the new knowledge within our religious/philosophical/ethical definitions.

Andrea Nye, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Andrea Nye received her BA from Radcliffe College, and her Phd from the University of Oregon both in philosophy. Her Phd thesis was in philosophy of language, focusing on contemporary arguments against the possibility of a private language. Since then she has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she is professor of philosophy and also an active member of the Women1s Studies Department. She teaches courses in the history of philosophy, social philosophy, and feminist philosophy. She also participated in the development of a core General Studies program and teaches sections of a required capstone interdisciplinary course, the World of Ideas.

She has published a number of books and articles exploring challenges to the philosophical tradition posed by recent feminist and multicultural theorists. Her most recent books are Philosophy and Feminist: At the Border, a study of contemporary feminist contributions to philosophy of mind, epistemology, and metaphysics, and Philosophy of Language: The Big Questions, an anthology of readings in philosophy of language that puts feminist and non-Western philosophers into dialogue with mainstream analytic perspectives. A new book, The Princess and the Philosopher: The Letters of Elisabeth Palatine to Rene Descartes is currently in press and is due to appear early next year.

In her letters to the philosopher Descartes, Elisabeth raised a number of challenging questions about the existential and moral implications of the new mathematical science being developed and promoted by Descartes and others in the seventeenth century. Similarly but more currently in the field of bioethics, Andrea Nye is interested in the ways new genetic and reproductive technologies affect womenıs lives. She is also interested in exploring the intersection of contemporary theoretical critiques of positivism and scientism with practical concerns about exploitation and commercialization.

At Whitewater, she will be developing a course in bioethics in consultation with members of the biology department. She will also be working on a new syllabus for 'World of Ideas' centered around the 'Human Conditions' and incorporating scientific as well as humanities materials.

Ellwood F. Oakley, III
Ellwood F. (Ebb) Oakley, III is Associate Professor of Legal Studies in the College of Business Administration, Georgia State University. Professor Oakley was educated at Auburn University (B.S.), Emory University (M.A.) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.), where he was a staff editor of The Tax Lawyer. He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma.

He served in the U.S. Navy as the legal and personnel officer of a cruiser during a Viet Nam tour. He was a partner in the Atlanta law firm of Dodd, Connell & Hughes from 1974 to 1988, where his practice centered on business and health care litigation.

Professor Oakley has taught in the MBA program at Georgia State since 1988, including courses in business law, health law, negotiations, insurance law, and the legal and ethical environment of business. He received the distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Business in 1993. Professor Oakley's research interests are currently focused on genetic testing and insurance, alternative dispute resolution in business, and applied business ethics. His works have been published in the Journal of Small Business Management, Journal of Business Ethics, South Carolina Law Review, and Journal of Insurance Regulations.

As an adjunct to his faculty position, Mr. Oakley currently serves a Senior Arbitrator on panels of the American Arbitration Association, Resolution Resources, Inc., the National Association of Securities Dealers, and as an Administrative Hearing Officer for the State Health Planning Agency (Certificate of Need). He also serves as legal advisor to the Lieutenant Governor during the annual session of the General Assembly.

Daniel Shartin, PhD
Daniel Shartin's B.A., M.A., and PhD. degrees are all in philosophy and all from UCLA. He is currently the chair of the philosophy department at Worcester State College in Massachusetts, where he serves on a wide variety of campus committees focusing on issues of academic policy and curriculum and teaches in the College's new honors program. Dr. Shartin has served on a number of community boards, and he is currently a member of both the ethics committee of the Central Massachusetts Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice and the Language Arts Curriculum Review Committee for the Shrewsbury, MA school system. In January of 1999 he will become a member of the American Philosophical Association's Committee on Pre-College Teaching in Philosophy.

Dr. Shartin's research interests have lain primarily in ancient philosophy, with a special emphasis on Aristotle's theories of metaphysics and biology. In addition, he writes on problems in epistemology and the philosophy of religion. He teaches a wide variety of philosophy courses at Worcester State (including symbolic logic, professional ethics, and various courses in the history of Western philosophy), and has been actively involved in promoting inter-disciplinary co-operation among the College's departments.

Antonieto S. Tan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Biology Department
Worcester State College
Worcester, MA 01602-2597
Phone: 508-729-8717
E-mail: atan@worc.mass.edu

Antonieto S. Tan, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Biology at Worcester State College. He joined Worcester State College in 1993 with 14 years of prior teaching and research experience. His educational background is in Chemistry, Marine Biology, Medical and Biological Sciences. He teaches various courses in organismic, cellular and molecular biology. Dr. Tan authored several publications about the sea cucumbers and bivalve mollusks. He is currently collaborating with Dr. Michael Kennish and Dr. Richard Lutz of Rutgers University in describing the variations of the shell microstructure of bivalve mollusks from deep-sea and hydrothermal vents.

Dr. Tan is grateful to the faculty, staff and students of the Faculty Summer Institute at Dartmouth College for the wonderful learning experience concerning the "Teaching of the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications on the Human Genome Project (ELSI-HGP)". Their scholarly presentations and enthusiastic discussions on current ELSI-HGP issues were enlightening and inspiring. He particularly liked the team's open-mindedness, and their metadisciplinary, multimedia, and case study approach to teaching the ELSI-HGP course.

The Human Genome Project is an excellent opportunity to discuss and reflect on the aspects of education that are often neglected--the ethical, legal and social implications. This interesting project will be a valuable tool that will engage our students in lively and fruitful discussions about a topic that impacts us all. This practice will assist them in their preparation to be responsible citizens of their country and the world.

The knowledge and techniques learned from this course will be incorporated into and applied to the various courses he teaches at Worcester State College. Dr. Tan will also collaborate with Dr. Dan Shartin (Philosophy Department) and other interested parties in disseminating the ELSI-HGP to the community of Worcester State College and the City of Worcester through different seminars and workshops in fall 1998. They hope to offer an ELSI-HGP course to their students in spring 1999. There is a possibility that they might develop an on-line course in the future. These course offerings will hopefully help spread this exciting message. Dr. Tan hopes that the ELSI-HGP course will enrich the liberal learning curriculum at Worcester State College.


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