Editors: Michio Okamoto, M.D., Norio Fujiki, M.D. & Darryl R.J. Macer, Ph.D.
General Secretary, MURS Japan
The Universal Movement of Scientific Responsibility (MURS) was established in 1987 by Nobel Laureate, Prof. J. Dausset, who proposed non-government organization without any ethical, political or religious approaches, in order to inform the public the development of science and technology and to stimulate reflection on the future of man. At the time of Third International Bioethics Seminar in Fukui in 1993, we have funded MURS Japan, welcoming both Profs. Dausset and Pompidou, under the presidency of Prof. Okamoto. This time we have organized the second MURS Japan Seminar jointly with IBC, UNESCO.
The Director General of UNESCO, Prof. F. Mayor, decided to set up International Bioethics Committee and invited Mme Lenoir, member of Counseil Constitutional, as chairperson, to lay down to intellectual framework and practical program, in order to reply to the ethical preoccupation raised by advances in life sciences. Mme. Lenoir prepared the report on the ethical, legal and social problems raised in human genome and its applications, and invited 50 members from all over the world in 1993. I serve as vice president of this committee, and this committee has emphasized the complexity of these problems in being given three roles as 1) forums of the exchange of idea and experiences, 2) an initiating roles in giving practical effects to files works in view of the better infusing to the public by health and research workers and decision makers, 3) identifying values common to humankind, which could bring the scientific and biological progress, and are basic to the reflection necessary to the elaboration of international instrument for the protection of human genome.
Immediately before this joint seminars, we have had 3rd Assembly of IBC, UNESCO during Sept. 25-29 in Paris, which emphasized: 1) genetics of population demography related with the human genome diversity program, 2) therapeutic applications stemming from genetic engineering, 3) genetic screening and testing, and 4) education of bioethics. Just now, we have heard the lectures of Mme. Lenoir for the middle step of international instrumentation at the end of 1997, hot discussions with Japanese speakers, and clarified the research activities of IBC and MURS. These speeches will be published as proceedings in both English and Japanese, and available for all participants in early 1996. I hope this proceeding will be 4th milestone of bioethics in medical genetics in Japan, and to continue the seminar for further developments.
Finally, I would say our scientific knowledge should be used only to promote the human dignity and preserve the integrity of scientific knowledge and the future of man, and close my closing remarks with the message of Spinoza's ethics; the souls of men are not conquered by arm but only by love and generosity.
Article 1 - Name
The name of this organization shall be Japanese Branch of the Mouvement Universale de la Responsibilite Scientifiques. Hereafter referred to as the MURS Japan.
Article 2. - Objective.
The objective of MURS Japan is to promote the tremendously developing scientific research and ethical, legal, and social issues for the protection of all parts of human beings, the genome and respect for the human dignity and provide scientific knowledge from all over the world. Not only in the medical and biological, but also the sociological, ethical and other fields, through open and international exchanges of ideas among different regions of the world. In order to achieve this end the MURS Japan will encourage the following aims and projects:
1 ) to organize and promote national and international conferences and debates
2) to publish the newsletter biannually.
3) to assist the developments and linkages of regional organization as well as MURS in other countries, for research and bioethics,
4) to encourage other scientific and educational works to accomplish goals consistent with the above objectives of the MURS Japan.
Article 3 - Membership
The membership of the MURS Japan shall be open to all individuals and institutions sharing the objectives of the MURS Japan, through submission of application form with annual dues. The membership is divided into three groups: Officers [Board of Directors, President, Vice President, General Secretary, and Treasurer], Members and Associated Members.
Article 4.- Amendment of the Constitution.
This constitution may not be amended, replaced or annulled except by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members voting at a secret ballot.
Article 5 - Secretariat.
The office will temporarily be placed in Department of Internal Medicine, Fukui Medical School, Matsukacho, Fukui 910-11, Japan. Tel: 0776-61-3111.Ext 2300. Fax: 0776-61-8110.