Conference to focus on stem cell ethics

Conference to also include special session on infertility and women's issues.

A two-day conference on the medical ethics of stem-cell research and in-vitro (IVF) fertilization organized by New York's Yeshiva University (YU) will be held next week at Bar-Ilan University. Called "Creating in God's Image," it is also co-sponsored by several other institutions, including Columbia University's Center for Bioethics, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations and Bar-Ilan. Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of YU's newly-established Center for the Jewish Future University, said: "As fast as scientists push back the frontiers of biological research, rabbinical leaders and medical professionals at YU are working to clarify the moral and legal boundaries of their research according to Jewish teachings." Howard Weisband, YU's senior advisor on Israel affairs, added that it has "always taken the lead in bringing major contemporary issues to the forefront of the global Jewish community, and both scientists and rabbinical leaders from YU will utilize this conference as an opportunity to explore the implications of these topical medical issues, offering applications of the ethical principles based upon Jewish tradition." The conference, to be held on September 6 and 7, will also include a special session on infertility and women's issues for an audience of Israeli female medical ethics advisors. Lectures will be presented in English and simultaneously translated into Hebrew. YU's senior Jewish medical ethics expert, Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler, will speak on "Sovereignty of Torah Law in an Amoral Society," while Brander will give an address on "Halachic Issues Related to IVF" and will take part in a panel discussion on Jewish issues related to infertility and IVF.