Should children be used to develop an anthrax vaccine?

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will hold an open meeting in Miami beginning Monday on the tough issue of whether children should be used in attempts to develop an anthrax vaccine.

The public is welcome to the meeting, to be held at University of Miami Hospital’s Seminar Center at 1400 NW 12th Ave., starting at 9 a.m. Monday and continuing to noon Tuesday.

The discussion concerns the scenario of terrorists creating weapons in which deadly bacteria could kill thousands of people. There’s discussion of developing a vaccine to counter such attacks, but could it proved to be effective for children if it were not tested on them? And what parents would permit such testing?

The panel is chaired by Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania. President Barack Obama created the commission in 2009 to advise him on bioethical issues.

A live webcast will be available at

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