Deciding about your Health Care: The Ethicist as Policy-Maker [Book Review]

Health Care Analysis 9 (3):265-281 (2001)
The author demonstrates that professional bioethics is culturally very risk averse when it comes to evaluating the possible ethical consequences of new technologies such as genetic testing, human embryonic stem cells, and reproductive cloning. Deeper involvement in the Federal regulatory process by bioethicists will exacerbate this tendency toward risk aversion. This cultural bias toward caution will tempt many bioethicists to look to the so-called precautionary principle for policy guidance. Adopting the precautionary principle would harm patients by slowing the development of new therapies. The author argues that bioethicists should reject the precautionary principle and instead rely on conscientious trial and error as a superior way to approach implementing new biomedical technologies ethically
Keywords bioethics  biotechnology  ethics  genetic enhancement  genetic testing  germline intervention  human embryonic stem cells  life extension  new technology  precautionary principle  regulation  reproductive cloning  risk aversion  therapeutic cloning  xenotransplantation
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