Edinboro University has been a center for bioethics since the beginning of the discipline in 1969. Dr. James F. Drane began work in bioethics at Edinboro University that year after returning from a trip around the world, researching public policies in different cultures on ethical issues in medicine. Since then, he has worked to promote bioethics in the U.S. and Latin America. In 2002, he was named one of the founders of the discipline of bioethics at The International Bioethics Conference in Brasilia. Dr. Drane has authored 20 books. More Humane Medicine: A Liberal Catholic Bioethics received the outstanding Book of the Year Award, 2004, from Independent Publishers. It was named “Best Health Book.”
The James F. Drane Bioethics Institute is designed to continue his work in bioethics at Edinboro University and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It reflects the commitment of Edinboro University to strengthen the bonds between medicine and morality, science and ethics.
The James F. Drane Institute gives concrete form to the relationship between medicine and ethics. It is dedicated to promoting this relationship in society and in university disciplines. Issues of medicine are related to diverse academic disciplines because health is a pervasive concern in today’s western culture. Health and medical treatments today are what salvation and religious belief were in medieval times.
For a university to focus on science yet ignore the associated ethical concerns would be academically irresponsible. The ethical issues related to scientific disciplines are evident everywhere. The academic disciplines may be more or less overtly connected to health, but all have to be concerned about ethics.
Historically, the impact of a university on the surrounding community was always related to the university’s focus on ethics. Civility is one ethical term for this historical influence. Bioethics today is a university discipline that serves the community by focusing on the relationship between science, ethics, medicine and the humane treatment of patients.
The James F. Drane Bioethics Institute aspires to contribute to civil communities in Latin America and the Caribbean by creating a place, within a university environment, where students and scholars can do research in bioethics that will advance the discipline academically and contribute to their home communities.
The James F. Drane Bioethics Institute at Edinboro University provides a place for students and scholars from Latin America and the Caribbean to conduct research in bioethics that will contribute to the development of a distinct Latin American and Caribbean Bioethics, and then to interdisciplinary dialogue with bioethicists from different cultures.
Russell B. Roth, former president of the American Medical Association, worked with James F. Drane on bioethics issues in the early days of the discipline. Persons accepted for a stay at the Bioethics Institute will be helped financially from an endowment created by Dr. Roth and others. Scholars and students who are accepted will have access to University library materials as well as the papers, books and journals of Dr. Drane.