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Hastings Center Report

From the Editor: Justice, Bioethics, and Covid-19

Abstract: Both articles in the November-December 2021 issue of the Hastings Center Report reflect bioethics’ growing interest in questions of justice, or more generally, questions of how collective interests constrain individual interests. Hugh Desmond argues that human enhancement should be reconsidered in light of developments in the field of human evolution. Contemporary understandings in this area lead, he argues, to a new way of thinking about the ethics of enhancement—an approach that replaces personal autonomy with group benefit as the primary criterion for deciding what enhancements are acceptable. In the second article, Johannes Kniess considers the many attempts within bioethics to draw on John Rawls’s work to discuss health care access and social determinants of health, and he comes across as moderately optimistic that Rawls’s theory of justice has ongoing relevance.

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