Video: "Methodological Aspirations"

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Vanderbilt’s Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society and Center for the Study of Religion and Culturehosted a conference , “Religion and Genomics: Navigating Pathways and Perspectives of Patient Care,” that addresses the religious and spiritual concerns of patients, clinicians, and clergy when they encounter genetic information.

The April 3 welcome talk was given by Joe Fanning and Larry Churchill.

Individuals religious beliefs and practices can be implicated and challenged as they deal with the consequences of advances in genomics. While many people can reconcile these two bodies of knowledge, others are made uneasy or distressed by this new science in ways that affect their personal and political choices. The purpose of this conference was to convene investigators involved in transdisciplinary projects with local participants from the clinic, the church, and the public to identify:

1.What is currently understood about the role religion plays in individuals responses to genetic information

2.What is currently understood about the role religion plays in shaping clinicians’ and clergy’s efforts to assist patients and parishioners when dealing with genetic information

3.What resources are needed to assist patients, clinicians, and clergy

4.What are new areas of inquiry for the future

Joe Fanning, M.Div., Th.M., is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University. His current research examines the dominant models of communication in genetic counseling and their responsiveness to religious issues that arise in clinical settings.

Larry Churchill, Ph.D. is the Ann Geddes Stahlman Chair of Medical Ethics and Co-Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He also holds appointments in the Vanderbilt Divinity School and in the Department of Philosophy. Among his wide research interests is the concern with the challenges of genetic screening and testing for human self-understanding and the role of religion/spirituality in interpreting genetic knowledge in clinical settings.

Contact: Joseph B. Fanning

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