Summer School 2015 Participants’ Testimonials

​”My first impression of the International Bioethics Summer School in Manhattan can be summed up in four words, INSIGHTFUL, INFORMATIVE, EDUCATIVE AND HELPFUL. The program is well organized and the Professors are amiable, accommodating and very resourceful. They know their subjects very well too.  Based on this, I will highly recommend this course for both students and professionals in the field of Bioethics anywhere in the world.” – Sampson Addo, ​Research Development Officer, ​College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, Africa

“It has been two weeks since the start of the Summer School in Bioethics in Manhattan and it has been a real eye opener. The participants are a very diverse group ranging from High school majors to established professionals, which makes the class very vibrant and thought provoking. I am very honored to be part of this wonderful experience. The highlight for last week was the invitation to the United Nations General Assembly as guests of the Romanian ambassador to be part of the One World Concert. This marked 70 years since the signing of the United Nations Charter. What an enjoyable experience it was to see all the different choirs and cultures coming together. I can’t think of a more fitting symbolism for what Global Bioethics Initiative stands for.” – Pinky Chirwa, Neonatologist, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic HospitalSouth Africa

“I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my first summer working in New York City. I truly enjoyed participating in the Summer School, as well as working as an intern and learning the behind the scenes operations of a non-governmental organization.” – Agata Ferretti, Graduate Student, The University of Milan, Italy

“Thank you very much for the opportunity to not only work as an intern but be a part of the summer school program. It was a wondering unique experience, and I have learned so much! It is an honor to be a part of GBI, and I hope GBI becomes even bigger in the coming years.” – Grace Kim, ​Graduate Student, ​Arizona State University, USA

“Attending the GBI Summer School was a once in a lifetime opportunity! The lectures were fascinating and I loved how much I learned about how bioethics applies to the real world. I also loved the camaraderie that was formed as the class got to know each other over the course of the five weeks.” – Eija Lindroos, ​Graduate Student, ​University of Turku​, Finland

“I am so grateful for having the chance to participate in the Global Bioethics Initiative International Summer School as a GBI intern. Not only was I able to learn more directly about bioethical issues that I had previously learned about in college classes, but I was able to make contacts with professors and industry leaders that will be so valuable in the future.” – Remy Servis, Undergraduate Student, Washington University in St. Louis, USA

“The summer school was an incredible experience. Access to such esteemed lecturers in an intimate setting was something I couldn’t have gotten in any other program. Thanks to GBI for an amazing five weeks!” – Margaret Sport, Undergraduate Student, Colorado College, USA

“In the past couple of weeks, those of us who are students at the Global Bioethics Initiative Summer School have learned quite a lot about different bioethical issues. Two lecturers that really made the students think were Dr. James Hughes and Dr. Joseph Fins. Dr. Hughes presented on the Ethics of Life Extension and discussed the possible ethical issues surrounding people living much longer than they do now. Dr. Fins gave a lecture titled, “Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics and the Struggle for Consciousness” and​ discussed the different states of consciousness that a patient may experience following brain injury; Dr. Fins argued that the way we treat patients who are in what he calls a “minimally conscious state” is a serious ethical violation, perhaps even a human rights violation.  The ​summer school has given me a chance to hear from many wonderful speakers and has really made me think critically about many of the important ethical issues of our day.” – Jessica Haushalter, JD Candidate, Vanderbilt School of Law, USA

“Being a Global Bioethics Intern and a GBI Summer School student opened my eyes to many bioethical issues this summer. By discussing bioethical issues with summer school participants from around the world, I was able to understand more deeply different points of view in bioethics. I will take the knowledge I have gained this summer and apply it to my future studies and career.” – Jessica Haushalter, ​JD Candidate, ​Vanderbilt University Law School, USA

“GBI’s Summer Program was very interesting and exciting.​ One lecture I found particularly interesting was Dr. Sheldon Krimsky‘s talk on genetics and ethics. It seems like we read about scientists discovering links between certain genes and types of behavior all the time now – if they are correct, do we as a society have an obligation to screen for embryos that have the genes that are associated with aggression and violence? Another interesting lecture was Dr. John Loike‘s discussion of medical tourism. With the costs associated with medical treatments soaring in the United States, some insurance agencies are offering to pay their policyholder’s plane and hotel fare if they agree to have their procedures in countries where the cost of these procedures is significantly less than in America. Should we be outsourcing like this? Is this safe and healthy? These are just a few of the questions that arise when we consider the ethical implications of medical tourism.” – Kaitlyn Schaeffer, JD Candidate, NYU School of Law, USA

“This week’s trip to the New York Genome Center was awe-inspiring. We spoke to several professionals and scientists who were passionate about their line of work. From one speaker, I learned that scientists are focusing on a technique that is a combination of microscopy and DNA sequencing, in which DNA is isolated from a single cell rather than a cluster. Another speaker was enthusiastic about being a genetic counselor, which has inspired me to look more into the field. Overall, it was an exciting and memorable look into the work coming out of NYGC.” – Yasmine Karma, Graduate Student, Binghampton University, USA

“Today the International Bioethics Summer School visited the New York Genome Center. At the Center, our group learned how biomedical research and genome sequencing provide solutions to serious diseases. During the discussion, our guide emphasized the importance of considering all of the ethics issues that arise with new technologies including: informed consent, anonymity of data, and the proper storage of research materials. Our visit really made us consider the ethical implications of genome sequencing in a real word setting, and it was an enlightening experience.” –  Kristina Jacobsson, High School Senior, Trinity School, Harvard College Candidate, USA

“On Friday the Global Bioethics Initiative Summer School took a trip to the United Nations Headquarters for the Rhythms of One World festival in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. Musical artists from all over the world, from the People’s Republic of China to Romania, joined together in song to commemorate this historical document, which promotes international peace and security. I felt as though this was a perfect event for our international bioethics class, which is quite symbolic of the UN in that we represent a large variety of sociocultural backgrounds joined together for a common cause. The classroom is a judgment-free zone for discussion while we try to solve the tough bioethical issues facing us today. This event serves as an excellent segway to our next big question: are there global bioethical standards or international human rights? Thanks GBI for the rich cultural experience!” – Emily Wojtyna​, ​Graduate Student, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Germany

The​ GBI Summer School Program participants took a field trip to the United Nations to meet with Colonel Tim House, the Special Assistant to the Military Adviser for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and Lliam Findlay, a Political Affairs Officer working with the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon’s Special Envoy on Ebola. Learning from these experts about UN​ involvement with UNMEER, the UN Mission for Emergency Ebola Response, made the feild trip an enlightening experience. – Kristina Jacobsson, High School Senior, ​Trinity SchoolHarvard College Candidate, USA

Videos produced by summer school participant Syra Mehdi for her show Today in Science:

Click here to watch an interview with Professor Jonathan Moreno, Ph.D., David and Lyn Silfen University Professor and Professor of Medical Ethics and the History and Sociology of Science, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;  Member, International UNESCO Bioethics Committee, email: morenojd@mail.med.upenn.edu

Click here to watch a video clip of Professor Nina B.L. Urban, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY.

Click here to watch a video clip of Professor Marin Gillis, Ph.L., Ph.D., Professor and Director of Medical Ethics, Humanities, and the Arts, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine; Faculty Associate, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, Florida International University, Miami, FL, and Professor Jaime Franco, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities, Health and Society, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University; VP and Managing Partner, LITMUS Clinical Research Group, Miami, FL.

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