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Is it reasonable to hope that concerns about “cultural harms” can be integrated into oversight mechanisms for technologies like gene editing? That question was raised anew for me by the recent National Academy of Sciences report on human genome editing and at a recent conference at Harvard on the international governance of genome editing technologies.… Read more
BIOETHICS FORUM ESSAY
After much anticipation, on April 22, HBO debuted The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a film based on Rebecca Skloot’s bestselling book, starring Oprah Winfrey. Lacks’s cells provided the foundation for the now infamous HeLa cell line, the first set of human cells able to reproduce outside the body. So-called immortal cell lines like HeLa… Read more
Clinical research with prisoners is ethically vital and challenging. Studies investigating novel psychological, behavioral, and pharmacological interventions are imperative for the health and experiences of the people they focus on. Yet clinical research on prisoners also raises considerable ethical concerns—most notably, whether prisoners participating in research are subjected to coercion or exploitation. An article in… Read more
In 2008, The President’s Council on Bioethics turned to Immanuel Kant and his deontological philosophy as a resource for deliberations on contemporary bioethical issues. The report focused on Kant’s understanding of human dignity, and his deduction that the value of a human is intrinsic. The Council ultimately asserted that according to Kantian moral philosophy, worth… Read more
People value their health. It allows them to pursue their aims and enjoy their lives, and it contributes to their well-being. But health is not only good for particular healthy individuals. It is also good for their families, communities, nations, and in a world in which people flows are global, health is good for the… Read more
In a recent article in the Hastings Center Report two leading bioethicists, Mildred Solomon and Bruce Jennings, called on fellow bioethicists to “come to the aid of civil liberties and political rights,” and to use their scholarship to “clarify how . . . individual well-being is bound up with justice.” As a citizen I too… Read more
In their paper “Bioethics and Populism: How Should Our Field Respond?” Mildred Solomon and Bruce Jennings have sparked an important debate about the role of bioethics in our current political climate. They warn of the risk to constitutional democracy posed by the rise of authoritarian populist regimes around the world, and they point to the… Read more
Arkansas has recently joined seven other states (Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota) in banning abortions for sex selection. Arizona’s law requires doctors to ask a woman seeking an abortion if she knows the sex of the fetus, and if she does, to tell her that it is illegal to… Read more
Franklin Miller’s recent post in Bioethics Forum responded to our essay, “Bioethics and Populism: How Should Our Field Respond?” in the current issue of the Hastings Center Report. There, we suggested that rising global authoritarian populism presents opportunities for (and, one might even say, places responsibilities on) the field of bioethics. We proposed that bioethics might… Read more
In the wake of the Trump administration and populist movements abroad, Mildred Solomon and Bruce Jennings published a provocative essay, “Bioethics and Populism: How Should our Field Respond?” in the March-April issue of the Hastings Center Report. Their call for the field of bioethics to respond to “authoritarian populism” and the threat it poses to… Read more
Given the chance, would Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch vote to overturn Roe v Wade? Challenge state “death with dignity” laws?
Imagine you are a doctor running a clinic in a primarily lower-income neighborhood, where many of your patients are recent immigrants from different parts of the world. You are granted a fixed annual budget of $100,000 through your local public health department, and it is unlikely that you can obtain additional funding later in the… Read more