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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 16, 1996

President Clinton today announced his intention to appoint two members to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. The first members were appointed in July 1996. Established by Presidential Executive Order on October 3, 1995, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) will provide guidance to federal agencies on the ethical conduct of current and future human biological and behavioral research. The Commission members' expertise includes the fields of philosophy and theology, law and medicine, biology, and other social and behavioral sciences. The President also included community representatives to ensure a well-rounded Commission.

The President is announcing the appointment of the following individuals:

Rhetaugh Graves Dumas of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Dumas is the Vice Provost for Health Affairs and the Lucille Cole Professor of Nursing at the University of Michigan. She is also a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Dumas served as Dean and Professor of the University of Michigan School of Nursing from 1981 - 1994. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Dr. Dumas served as deputy director of the National Institute of Mental, Alcohol Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration from 1979-1981. A native of Natchez, Mississippi, Dr. Dumas received her B.S.N from Dillard University. She holds a M.S. from Yale University's School of Nursing and a Ph.D. from the Union Institute, Ohio.

Bette O. Kramer of Richmond, Virginia. Ms. Kramer was the first President of the Richmond Bioethics Consortium. She also serves as a member of the Virginia Bioethics Network, member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Biomedical Ethics, University of Virginia, and member of the Ethics Committee at Stuart Circle Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. Ms. Kramer served as a member of the Joint Subcommittee on Health Care for All Virginians from 1988 to 1989, and was Chairman of the Board for the Department of Medical Assistance Services from 1985 to 1988. She was also a member of the Ethics Committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing. Ms. Kramer received a B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College.

The Commission is expected to hold its first meeting in October. As a first priority, the Commission will focus on protection of the rights and welfare of human research subjects and issues in the management and use of genetic information. The Commission will be guided by the following criteria when establishing its agenda: the public health or public policy urgency of the issue, the relation of the issue to the goals of Federal investment in science and technology, the relative capacity of the Commission as compared to other entities to deliberate on an issue, and the extent of interest in the issue across the government. The Commission may also address issues suggested by Congress and members of the public.