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Committee Detail

Note: An Annual Comprehensive Review, as required by §7 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, is conducted each year on committee data entered for the previous fiscal year (referred to as the reporting year). The data for the reporting year is not considered verified until this review is complete and the data is moved to history for an agency/department. See the Data From Previous Years section at the bottom of this page for the committee’s historical, verified data.

Details on agency responses to committee recommendations can be found under the Performance Measures section for each committee in the fields “Agency Feedback” and “Agency Feedback Comment.”

HHS - 1958 - National Bioethics Advisory Commission - Presidential


Committee NameNational Bioethics Advisory CommissionAgency NameDepartment of Health and Human Services
Fiscal Year2001Committee Number1958
Original Establishment Date10/3/1995Committee StatusTerminated
Actual Termination Date10/3/2001Committee URL
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYYesMax Number of Members*18
Current Charter Date7/26/1996Designated Fed Officer Position Title*Executive Director, National Bioethics Advisory Commission
Date Of Renewal Charter Designated Federal Officer Prefix
Projected Termination Date10/3/2001Designated Federal Officer First Name*Eric
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle NameM.
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Meslin
Establishment Authority*PresidentialDesignated Federal Officer SuffixPh.D.
Specific Establishment Authority*E.O. 12975Designated Federal Officer Phone*301-402-4242
Effective Date Of Authority*10/3/1995Designated Federal Officer Fax*301-480-6900
Exempt From EO 13875 Discretionary Cmte Designated Federal Officer Email* 
Committee Type*Continuing
Committee Function*National Policy Issue Advisory Board


Agency Recommendation*Terminate
Legislation to Terminate RequiredYes
Legislation StatusPending
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*The National Bioethics Advisory Commission advises, consults with, and makes recommendations to the National Science and Technology Council and its Chair, the President, Federal agencies, and other appropriate entities, including the scientific community, professional associations, academic institutions, Congress, and the public on the appropriateness of departmental, agency, or other governmental programs, policies, assignments, missions, guidelines, and regulations in their relationship to bioethical issues arising from biomedical, clinical and social research. It accomplishes these tasks through the following mechanisms: deliberations at Commission meetings, contracting/ commissioned papers from public, professional, and scientific experts in relevant fields, and through testimony by recognized experts and the public. In addition, opportunities are afforded the public at each meeting to provide comments. In FY 1999, the Commission completed three reports, one of which was in direct response to President Clinton's request. NBAC submitted to the President, through the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), its report, Research Involving Persons with Mental Disorders That May Affect Decisionmaking Capacity (2 vol.). The report contained 21 recommendations designed to enhance protections for human subjects who had mental disorders. The report was referred to the Committee on Science of the NSTC and to Federal agencies for comment. NBAC selected this topic because it was timely, raised critically important questions for the research community, and for patients and families. In July 1999, NBAC submitted its report, Research Involving Human Biological Materials: Ethical Issues and Policy Guidance (Executive Summary and Vol. 1; a second volume for this report containing commissioned papers will be published in FY 2000). NBAC selected this topic because advances in genetic research raised important concerns about the use of genetic (and non-genetic) information, there were disagreements amongst the scientific community about key issues, and because of perceived ambiguity in the Federal regulations. On November 14, 1998, the President asked the Commission to consider the ethical, medical, and legal implications of embryonic stem cell research, including the mingling of human and non-human species. NBAC submitted its report, Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research, to the NSTC on September 7, 1999 (Executive Summary and Vol. 1; a second volume for this report containing commissioned papers, and a third volume containing the written testimony from eleven religious scholars will both be published in FY 2000).
How is membership balanced?*The President appointed 18 individuals, including the Commission chair, from a pool of knowledgeable non-government experts and community representatives with special qualifications and competence to provide effective recommendations on a wide range of bioethical issues. At least three members must represent the public and at least one member must be from the following areas of expertise: Philosophy/theology; social/behavioral science; law; medicine/allied health professions; and biological research.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*The original charter stated that meetings may be called up to 10 times a year; the two renewal charters state that there may be up to 12 meetings a year. In order to respond to the very tight deadline for the specific reports requested by the President, the Commission has sometimes met more frequently than expected. The agendae of the meetings are focused on the various aspects of the specific issues being deliberated.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*The President established the Commission after a twelve-year absence of any such body. The Commission is to identify broad, overarching principles to govern the ethical conduct of research. There are a considerable number of bioethical issues that impact not only on the ethical conduct of research, but the health and well being of the Nation.
Why close or partially close meetings?N/A
Recommendation RemarksPresident Bush has terminated and has implemented a new committee. Waiting for final report


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety* Action Reorganize Priorities* 
Outcome Trust In Government Action Reallocate Resources 
Outcome Major Policy Changes Action Issued New Regulations 
Outcome Advance In Scientific Research Action Proposed Legislation 
Outcome Effective Grant Making Action Approved Grants Or Other Payments 
Outcome Improved Service Delivery Action Other 
Outcome Increased Customer Satisfaction Action Comment
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg Requirements Grants Review* 
Outcome Other Number Of Grants Reviewed 
Outcome CommentNumber Of Grants Recommended 
Cost Savings* Dollar Value Of Grants Recommended 
Cost Savings CommentGrants Review Comment
Number Of Recommendations* Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer* 
Number Of Recommendations CommentAccess Agency Website 
% of Recs Fully Implemented* Access Committee Website 
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentAccess GSA FACA Website 
% of Recs Partially Implemented* Access Publications 
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentAccess Other 
Agency Feedback* Access Comment
Agency Feedback Comment*Narrative Description*
Hide Section - COSTS


Payments to Non-Federal Members*$75,600.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Members*$0.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$75,600.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$976,766.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$976,766.00
Payments to Consultants*$1,248,270.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$1,248,270.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$200,000.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$200,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$625,000.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$625,000.00
Total Costs$3,125,636.00Est. Total Next FY*$3,125,636.00
Date Cost Last Modified Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*13.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*13.00Est Cost Remarks
Cost Remarks  
Hide Section - Interest Areas

Interest Areas

No interest areas selected for this committee.


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Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-018480National Bioethics Advisory Commission2000
 COM-019891National Bioethics Advisory Commission1999
 COM-020287National Bioethics Advisory Commission1998
 COM-021401National Bioethics Advisory Commission1997