Bioethics
Debates with Young People
 

Debate with young people from Austria, France and Germany on ethical issues raised by genetic testing

On 11 December 2009 a debate with high school students from Austria, France and Germany was organised by the Council of Europe on ethical issues raised by genetic testing. This debate was initiated using an educational tool developed by the Council of Europe.

With the development of this tool, the Council of Europe has wished to contribute to the promotion of public debate on ethical issues raised by the developments of biology and medicine in the member states and at European level - an objective in line with the requirements of Article 28 of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine elaborated by the Council of Europe which requests that States �shall see to it that fundamental questions raised by the developments of biology and medicine are, the subject of appropriate public discussion in the light, in particular of relevant medical, social, economic, ethical and legal implications, and that their possible application is made the subject of appropriate consultation.�

The primary objective is to raise awareness of young people on bioethical issues � issues which concern all the members of the society. Such debate also encourages development of autonomy of reflection and promotion of active participation in public debate (education to citizenship). This educational tool is also designed to show the European dimension of the reflection on these issues.

On 11 December, students from �ffentliches Gymnasium der Stiftung "Theresianische Akademie" in Vienna (Austria), Lyc�e Jean Rostand in Strasbourg (France) and Lise-Meitner-Schule in Berlin (Germany)met to discuss genetic testing issues, giving to such debate a European dimension. The debate was organised with the support of the Austrian Bioethics Commission, the Comit� Consultatif National d�Ethique fran�ais and the German Ethics Council. It was moderated by Prof. Holger Wormer Chair of Science Journalism at the Institute and School of Journalism, Dortmund University in Germany.

On 19 May 2009 , at the Council of Europe , a debate on ethical issues raised by genetic testing was organised with young people (12th grade) from a French high school located in Strasbourg (Lyc�e Jean Rostand), using as a basis an educational tool developed by the Council of Europe.

This debate organised on 19 May and moderated by a professor of philosophy from the Lyc�e Jean Rostand provided practical illustration of the results that can be achieved through such exercise.

The journalists, the representatives of the national authorities responsible for education, as well as local institutions and persons involved in the bioethics debate, which took place in France within the framework of the �Etats g�n�raux de la bio�thique�, were invited to follow the debate.