By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Establishment. There is established the President's
Council on Bioethics (the ``Council'').
Sec. 2. Mission.
(a) The Council shall advise the President on bioethical issues that
may emerge as a consequence of advances in biomedical science and
technology. In connection with its advisory role, the mission of the
Council includes the following functions:
(1) to undertake fundamental inquiry into the human and moral significance
of developments in biomedical and behavioral science and technology;
(2) to explore specific ethical and policy questions related to
(3) to provide a forum for a national discussion of bioethical issues;
(4) to facilitate a greater understanding of bioethical issues;
(5) to explore possibilities for useful international collaboration
on bioethical issues.
(b) In support of its mission, the Council may study ethical issues
connected with specific technological activities, such as embryo and
stem cell research, assisted reproduction, cloning, uses of knowledge
and techniques derived from human genetics or the neurosciences, and
end of life issues. The Council may also study broader ethical and
social issues not tied to a specific technology, such as questions
regarding the protection of human subjects in research, the appropriate
uses of biomedical technologies, the moral implications of biomedical
technologies, and the consequences of limiting scientific research.
(c) The Council shall strive to develop a deep and comprehensive
understanding of the issues that it considers. In pursuit of this
goal, the Council shall be guided by the need to articulate fully
the complex and often competing moral positions on any given issue,
rather than by an overriding concern to find consensus. The Council
may therefore choose to proceed by offering a variety of views on
a particular issue, rather than attempt to reach a single consensus
(d) The Council shall not be responsible for the review and approval
of specific projects or for devising and overseeing regulations for
specific government agencies.
(e) In support of its mission, the Council may accept suggestions
of issues for consideration from the heads of other Government agencies
and other sources, as it deems appropriate.
(f) In establishing priorities for its activities, the Council shall
consider the urgency and gravity of the particular issue; the need
for policy guidance and public education on the particular issue;
the connection of the bioethical issue to the goal of Federal advancement
of science and technology; and the existence of another entity available
to deliberate appropriately on the bioethical issue.
Sec. 3. Membership.
(a) The Council shall be composed of not more than 18 members appointed
by the President from among individuals who are not officers or employees
of the Federal Government. The Council shall include members drawn
from the fields of science and medicine, law and government, philosophy
and theology, and other areas of the humanities and social sciences.
(b) The President shall designate a member of the Council to serve
(c) The term of office of a member shall be 2 years, and members
shall be eligible for reappointment. Members may continue to serve
after the expiration of their terms until the President appoints a
successor. A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve only for
the unexpired term of such vacancy.
Sec. 4. Administration.
(a) Upon the request of the Chairperson, the heads of executive departments
and agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law, provide the Council
with information it needs for purposes of carrying out its functions.
(b) The Council may conduct inquiries, hold hearings, and establish
subcommittees, as necessary.
(c) The Council is authorized to conduct analyses and develop reports
or other materials.
(d) Members of the Council may be compensated to the extent permitted
by Federal law for their work on the Council. Members may be allowed
travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized
by law for persons serving intermittently in Government service (5
U.S.C. 5701-5707), to the extent funds are available.
(e) To the extent permitted by law, and subject to the availability
of appropriations, the Department of Health and Human Services shall
provide the Council with administrative support and with such funds
as may be necessary for the performance of the Council's functions.
(f) The Council shall have a staff headed by an Executive Director,
who shall be appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services
in consultation with the Chairperson. To the extent permitted by law,
office space, analytical support, and additional staff support for
the Council shall be provided by the Department of Health and Human
Services or other executive branch departments and agencies as directed
by the President.
Sec. 5. General Provisions.
(a) Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5
U.S.C. App.), may apply to the Council, any functions of the President
under that Act, except that of reporting to the Congress, shall be
performed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in accordance
with the guidelines that have been issued by the Administrator of
(b) The Council shall terminate 2 years from the date of this order
unless extended by the President prior to that date.
(c) This order is intended only to improve the internal management
of the executive branch and it is not intended to create any right,
benefit, trust, or responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable
at law or equity by a party against the United States, its agencies,
its officers, or any person.
/s/George W. Bush
THE WHITE HOUSE,
November 28, 2001.