Governor Pawlenty and Mayo Clinic Decline to Participate: Only Public Forum on Governor's Genetic Research Initiative is Cancelled

Minneapolis, February 14, 2005 --- Today, because the Office of Governor Pawlenty withdrew its commitment, and the Mayo Clinic declined to participate, the Citizens' Council on Health Care announces the cancellation of the only scheduled public forum on the Governor's genetic research and biotechnology initiative.

"Regrettably, we have no other choice but to cancel the public forum. The public needs to hear from leaders on both sides of the genetic research issue," said Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

The public forum, which was scheduled for February 25, featured Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton, J.D., M.D., a leading expert in genomics and ethics from Vanderbilt University. Governor Pawlenty and the Mayo Clinic were invited as panelists to provide comments and perspectives.

"The citizens of Minnesota, regardless of their position on genetic research, are left with some obvious questions," Brase said.

  • Why is the Governor letting the people down?
  • Why is the Governor's Office avoiding an open public discussion of its $35 million genetic research plan?
  • Why does the Mayo Clinic refuse to send a representative to the public forum?

"The dignity, rights, and belief systems of patients and citizens are getting short shrift in this rush to research. Taxpayers are being asked to fund a $35 million research plan at the Mayo Clinic, yet the Governor and the Mayo Clinic are not willing to face the public and answer the tough questions," explained Brase. She concluded, "What is the public to think?"

To schedule an interview with Twila Brase, contact her at 651.646.8935.

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President
Phone: 651-646-8935 (office)
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