Center for Values and Social Policy


Center Talks
Ethics Bowl
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event details

Prisoners Flyer (.pdf)
Schedule (.doc)

related events

Prison Privatization:
Join us for a presentation on the Privatization of Prisons with William A. Trine. The event is free and open to the public.
2/11, 6:00 PM
Humanities 135

When Kids Get Life:
One hour documentary with follow-up Q&A with representative from the Pendulum Foundation.
2/13, 6:00 PM
Humanities 135

prisoners and vulnerable populations


research on prisoners and other vulnerable populations


February 14-15, 2008
Old Main Chapel
Boulder, Colorado


The Center for Values and Social Policy, in coordination with the University of Colorado Law School and the Bioethics Center at the University of Colorado, Denver, is hosting a public symposium on the use of prisoners and vulnerable populations for medical research. This symposium is intended to address concerns raised in the recently released report by the Institute of Medicine that proposes that prisoners once again be considered an acceptable research population.




On July 13, 2006, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report titled “Ethical Considerations for Research Involving Prisoners.” Citing the benefits of recent advancements in medical care to prisoners, the report recommends loosening restrictions on pharmaceutical testing of the prisoner population. Not surprisingly, this report has generated significant discussion among the general public and among ethicists.


The Center for Values and Social Policy in the Philosophy Department is taking this discussion to the next natural level. With the help of several organizations on and off campus (the Law School, the Bioethics Center at CU-Denver, the Ford Foundation, the Philosophy Department, the Sociology Department, the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, the President's Fund for the Humanities, The Center for Humanities and Arts) the Center is sponsoring a symposium on the Use of Prisoners for Medical Research. Our aim in coordinating this symposium is to respond publicly to the recent IOM report, to address the ethical aspects of the report under the scrutiny of a local and national audience, and to do so in a way that calls attention specifically to the question of disenfranchised minorities. At issue is the clash between advances in human achievement and injustice to poor and minority populations.


The symposium is scheduled to be held at the Center for Values and Social Policy on February 14-15, 2007. It will be conducted over the course of a day and a half, with two evening plenary talks and a morning plenary talk. Panel discussions will be scheduled for the middle of the day.


Our aim in conducting this symposium is to reach the local and broader community of academics and students working in this area, to provide an open forum for students of the University, and more broadly, to reach the large community of bioethicists and medical practitioners. This, we believe, will contribute to public understanding and discussion of this important issue.





All Talks in Old Main Chapel

Download the flyer and post widely: Announcement Flyer

Download the schedule, including talk titles.

Other relevant items:


IOM Report (free online): Ethical Considerations for Research Involving Prisoners

NYTimes: Panel Suggests Using Inmates for Drug Trials
NYTimes Video: Prison Medical Research


Also, please attend and publicize our other events, on prison privatization and lifetime sentences for juveniles.


Conference Organizers:


Benjamin Hale

Alison Jaggar

Annette Dula

Dayna Matthew

GTA: Gustavo Oliveira


Questions? Contact the Graduate Student Assistant: Gustavo.Oliveira@Colorado.EDU



RoME 2016
RoME 2015
RoME 2014
RoME 2013
RoME 2012
RoME 2011
RoME 2010
RoME 2009
RoME 2008

Morris Colloquia

Prisoners Conf

2006-07 Center Talks
2005-06 Center Talks


event ideas?

Interested in sponsoring an event or a program?  Want to have your issue addressed by professional ethicists?  Consider a contribution to the Center.  For inquiries, suggestions, or donations, contact the Director at:


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