Dr. Joseph J. Fins will discuss the birth of bioethics and the contributions of the late Yale Divinity School professor Dr. James M. Gustafson at 1 p.m. Friday, April 14, in Compton Hall room 107A on the PennWest Edinboro campus.

Part of the James F. Drane Lecture Series, Fins’ presentation, “Before the Birth of Bioethics: James M. Gustafson at Yale,” will examine the work of the leading mid-century Christian theologian and his influence on the founding generation of bioethics scholars.

“Bioethics is a young discipline addressing a wide variety of important life topics, from abortion and research on the human embryo at the beginning of life to assisted suicide and palliative care at the other edge of it,” said Dr. Kiarash Aramesh, assistant professor in PennWest’s Department of Biology and director of Edinboro’s Bioethics Institute.

Gustafson’s former students include Dr. James F. Drane, a long-tenured Edinboro faculty member, founder of Edinboro’s Bioethics Institute and a foremost authority on religion and bioethics. Drane was named one of the founders of the bioethics discipline at the International Bioethics Conference in Brasilia in 2002.

“Dr. Fins, a physician, a well-renowned scholar and one of the field's most outstanding leaders, will be talking about the background and early works of his old friend, the legendary James. F. Drane,” Aramesh said.

Fins is the E. William Davis, Jr. M.D. professor of medical ethics and chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medicine, where he is a tenured professor of medicine, medical ethics, health care policy and research.

In addition to his role at Weill Cornell Medicine, Fins is a visiting professor of law at Yale Law School. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds several other professional appointments.

The thought-provoking James F. Drane Lecture Series, funded by the generosity of Drane, features prominent scholars in the field of bioethics, providing insight into topics of medicine, morality, science and ethics. Lectures are free and open to the public.