Why We Play? Sports, Values and Drugs

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As part of the new ACU Luminaries Series ACU Luminaries Series , the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy Faculty of Theology and Philosophy is delighted to present, Why We Play? Sports, Values and Drugs, a public lecture by Thomas H. Murray PhD, President Emeritus of The Hastings Center NY.

Public lectures will be held in two locations:

North Sydney

This public lecture, and launch of the ACU Luminaries Series, will be hosted by the Chancellor, the Hon John Fahey AC.

When: Monday, 19 September at 5.30pm for 6pm start.

Where: ACU North Sydney Campus, Tenison Woods House, Level 22, 8-20 Napier Street, North Sydney.

RSVP: Registrations are essential by Friday, 9 September. To register, email acuevents@acu.edu.au or phone 02 9739 2201. Please advise of any special dietary requirements with your RSVP.


When: Wednesday, 21 September at 6pm for 6.30pm start.

Where: The Christ Lecture Theatre, ACU Melbourne Campus, 115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy.

RSVP: Registrations are essential by Friday 16 September. Register via the website.

Lecture overview

The Rio Olympic Games were marked by disqualifications of many athletes for using performance-enhancing drugs. What makes the use of anabolic steroids, EPO and other forms of doping so persistent and pervasive? The dynamics of athletic competition sets the stage for ethical analysis. Some commentators argue that the current system for deterring doping in sport is ineffective, misguided, or both. The standard defense of anti-doping offers two justifications: that it promotes fairness and protects athletes’ health. Critics argue that fairness only requires that all competitors have access to the same performance-enhancing drugs, and that athletes’ health would be better protected if doping were regulated under the care of physicians. Appreciating the realities of competitive sport undermines confidence in the concept of medically supervised doping. A careful examination of what gives sport its values and meaning provides a solid foundation for wanting to preserve a place for sport without performance-enhancing drugs.

About the speaker

Thomas H. Murray is President Emeritus of The Hastings Center. He served as President and CEO of Hastings from 1999 until 2012. Prior to returning to Hastings, he was Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Case Western University School of Medicine and Susan E. Watson Professor of Bioethics (1987-1999). From 2014-2016 he held the Chen Su Lan Centennial Chair (visiting) at the National University of Singapore School of Medicine. From 1996 through 2001 he served as Presidential appointee on the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and as chair of its genetics subcommittee. He serves on many editorial boards and has been president of the Society for Health and Human Values and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. He served as Chair of the Ethical Issues Review Panel for the World Anti-Doping Agency. He is currently a member of the Independent IAAF Ethics Board, Vice-Chair of Charity Navigator and on the board of CureSMA. Dr. Murray has testified before many congressional committees and is the author of more than 250 publications including The Worth of a Child. He is co-editor of Performance-Enhancing Technologies in Sports: Ethical, Conceptual, and Scientific Issues, and the Encyclopedia of Ethical, Legal and Policy Issues in Biotechnology. He is writing a book on values, drugs and sport. In 2004 he received an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from Uppsala University, the Henry Knowles Beecher Award from The Hastings Center in 2012, and the Patricia Price Browne Prize in 2013.

Thomas H. Murray is visiting ACU to collaborate on an ACURF-funded project led by Dr David Kirchhoffer of the School of Theology and member of the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry. The project, Personhood, Autonomy and Vulnerability in Human Research Ethics, includes an expert symposium in Brisbane, at which Dr Murray will join a number of international and Australian experts in research ethics to work on the difficult problem of limitations of autonomy.

About the ACU Luminaries Series

Throughout the year, the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy will host public events with internationally acclaimed scholars and experts. Our public lectures, seminars, short courses, workshops and research colloquia explore how social, cultural, political and religious issues impact how we understand our world. Stay up to date by visiting the http://www.acu.edu.au/luminaries or email luminaries@acu.edu.au

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