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News Release

March 4, 2008

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Using breast cancer as a case study, panelists attending a two-day Smith College symposium will examine a range of bioethical issues relevant to women’s health and medicine.

The panels, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 27, and 3 p.m. Friday, March 28, will bring together ethicists, activists and clinicians to consider the practices surrounding breast cancer. Both panels will be held in the Neilson Library Browsing Room and are free and open to the public.

Discussions will cover the economics of breast cancer research, setting priorities for prevention and treatment, genetic testing and risk, responsibility and accountability. The event is sponsored by the Departments of Philosophy and Biological Sciences, and the Program for the Study of Women and Gender.

"Breast cancer is a scourge, one that raises medical, ethical, and public policy questions," said John M. Connolly, professor of philosophy. "By bringing together theorists, practitioners, survivors and activists, we hope that this symposium can help us all appreciate the complexities of this disease."

Thursday, March 27, 7 p.m.

Virginia Ashby Sharpe, Smith Class of 1981, visiting scholar, Center for Clinical Bioethics, at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Julia Boltin, breast cancer survivor, graphic designer

Nancy Berlinger, Smith Class of 1984, deputy director and research associate, The Hastings Center, an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit bioethics research institute founded in 1969 to explore fundamental and emerging questions in medicine, health care, biotechnology.

Friday, March 28, 3 p.m.

Barbara A. Brenner, Smith Class of 1973, executive director, Breast Cancer Action, a national education and activist organization founded in 1990 by women in a San Francisco breast cancer support group.

Anne Moore, Smith Class of 1965, M.D., medical director of breast oncology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Holly Michaelson, M.D., surgeon, Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.

Mary Ellen Walsh, director, Cancer Care Program, Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.

Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction. By linking the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, Smith is developing leaders for society’s challenges. Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country, enrolling 2,800 students from nearly every state and 61 other countries.

For information about disability access or to request accommodations, please call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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