Friar To Be Appointed to White House Commission

HNP Communications In the Headlines

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced last week his intent to appoint 10 new members to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Among them was Holy Name friar Daniel Sulmasy, OFM, of Chicago.

“I’m humbled by the appointment,” Daniel said, “and honored to be able to serve my country in this capacity.”

As a leading medical ethicist, Dan has served on a variety of governmental advisory committees, including the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law and the Ethics Committee of the Empire State Stem Cell Board.

“Dan’s appointment to this new White House Commission is another example of how highly respected he is in the medical community and in the area of medical ethics,” said Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM. “I know that he will prove to be a great asset to the commission.”

Commission Objectives
The commission, according to a White House press release, will advise the president “on bioethical issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology.”

Dan said the primary objectives are to:
• identify and examine specific bioethical, legal and social issues related to the potential impacts of advances in 
biomedical and behavioral research, healthcare delivery or other areas of science and technology.

• recommend any legal, regulatory or policy actions it deems appropriate to address these issues.

• critically examine diverse perspectives and explore possibilities for useful international collaboration on these 

The Web site of the University of Chicago, where Dan has been the Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics since 2009, includes a news release about Dan and his recent appointment. Prior to his move to Chicago, he was a professor of medicine at New York Medical College and Sisters of Charity Chair in Ethics at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan.

The White House release includes biographical information on all 10 appointees.

President Obama said in the April 7 announcement, “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have decided to dedicate their talent and experience to this important commission. I look forward to their recommendations in the coming months and years.”

John said, “I have offered Dan, on behalf of all the friars of Holy Name Province, our congratulations and best wishes.”

Editor’s note: A profile about Dan, who is commemorating 25 years as a Franciscan friar this year, is included in this issue of HNP Today.