The Nobel prize-winning molecular biologist Walter Gilbert described the mapping and sequencing of the human genome as “the grail of molecular biology.” The implication, endorsed by enthusiasts for the new genetics, is that possessing a comprehensive knowledge of human genetics, like possessing the Holy Grail, will give us miraculous powers to heal the sick, and to reduce human suffering and disabilities. Indeed, the rhetoric invoked to garner public support for the Human Genome Project appears to appeal to the best of (...) the Western tradition's enthusiasm for progress: the idea of improving human lives through the practical application of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
This book articulates a systematic vision of an international legal system grounded in the commitment to justice for all persons. It provides a probing exploration of the moral issues involved in disputes about secession, ethno-national conflict, "the right of self-determination of peoples," human rights, and the legitimacy of the international legal system itself. Buchanan advances vigorous criticisms of the central dogmas of international relations and international law, arguing that the international legal system should make justice, not simply peace among (...) states, a primary goal, and rejecting the view that it is permissible for a state to conduct its foreign policies exclusively according to what is in the "national interest." He also shows that the only alternatives are not rigid adherence to existing international law or lawless chaos in which the world's one superpower pursues its own interests without constraints. This book not only criticizes the existing international legal order, but also offers morally defensible and practicable principles for reforming it. Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination will find a broad readership in political science, international law, and political philosophy. (shrink)
This book is the most comprehensive treatment available of one of the most urgent--and yet in some respects most neglected--problems in bioethics: decisionmaking for incompetents. Part I develops a general theory for making treatment and care decisions for patients who are not competent to decide for themselves. It provides an in-depth analysis of competence, articulates and defends a coherent set of principles to specify suitable surrogate decisionmakers and to guide their choices, examines the value of advance directives, and investigates the (...) role that considerations of cost ought to play in decisions concerning incompetents. Part II applies this theoretical framework to the distinctive problems of three important classes of individuals, many of whom are incompetent: minors, the elderly, and psychiatric patients. The authors' approach combines a probing analysis of fundamental issues in ethical theory with a sensitive awareness of the concrete realities of health care institutions and the highly personal and individual character of difficult practical problems. Its broad scope will appeal to health professionals, moral philosophers and lawyers alike. (shrink)
: Pharmacogenetics offers the prospect of an era of safer and more effective drugs, as well as more individualized use of drug therapies. Before the benefits of pharmacogenetics can be realized, the ethical issues that arise in research and clinical application of pharmacogenetic technologies must be addressed. The ethical issues raised by pharmacogenetics can be addressed under six headings: regulatory oversight, confidentiality and privacy, informed consent, availability of drugs, access, and clinicians' changing responsibilities in the era of pharmacogenetic medicine. We (...) analyze each of these categories of ethical issues and provide policy approaches for addressing them. (shrink)
Our society has long sanctioned, at least tacitly, a degree of conflict of interest in medical practice and clinical research as an unavoidable consequence of the different interests of the physician or clinical investigator, the patient or clinical research subject, third party payers or research sponsors, the government, and society as a whole, to name a few. In the past, resolution of these conflicts has been left to the conscience of the individual physician or clinical investigator and to professional organizations. (...) The public is no longer willing to allow health care providers to wholly govern their own conflicts of interest for several reasons. These include: new forms of health care financing and delivery that provide innovative and lucrative opportunities for physician or insurer enrichment at patient expense; the increased importance of commercial research support as peer-reviewed governmental research support has decreased; evidence that physicians and clinical investigators too frequently resolve conflicts of interest in their own favor; and a general societal mistrust of authority. This volume represents a multidisciplinary effort, drawing from philosophy, medicine, law, economics and public policy to identify and categorize conflicts of interest in medical practice and clinical research, and, where possible, to offer a mechanism for resolving them. Part I addresses conflicts of interest from a theoretical perspective, offering basic concepts and analytical frameworks. The second part discusses two topics prominent in current health care policy debates--self-referral and financial incentives to limit care. Part III examines conflicts of interest generated by pharmaceutical industry involvement in clinical practice and research. The final section deals with conflicts of interest in clinical research in several contexts, including institutional reviews boards, clinical trials, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements between government and private researchers, brokerage of research subjects by Contract Research Organizations, and cost-effectiveness studies. (shrink)
What does the prospect of being able to alter a human being's “natural assets” by genetic engineering imply for our understanding of the requirements of justice, and of equal opportunity in particular? Although their proponents are reluctant to admit it, some of the most prominent contemporary theories of justice yield a quite radical conclusion: If safe and effective intervention in the genetic “natural lottery” becomes feasible, there will be at least a strong prima facie case for doing so in the (...) name of equality of opportunity , if this is the most effective way to meet the demands of justice. (shrink)
: The mandate of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments required that the Committee take a position on the validity of retrospective moral judgments. However, throughout its period of operation, the Committee remained divided on the question of whether sound judgments of individual culpability and wrongdoing should be included in its Final Report. This essay examines the arguments that various committee members marshalled to support their opposing views on retrospective moral judgment and explains the significance of the controversy.
This book is the most comprehensive treatment available of one of the most urgent - and yet in some respects most neglected - problems in bioethics: decision-making for incompetents. Part I develops a general theory for making treatment and care decisions for patients who are not competent to decide for themselves. It provides an in-depth analysis of competence, articulates and defends a coherent set of principles to specify suitable surrogate decisionmakers and to guide their choices, examines the value of advance (...) directives, and investigates the role that considerations of cost ought to play in decisions concerning incompetents. Part II applies this theoretical framework to the distinctive problems of three important classes of individuals, many of whom are incompetent: minors, the elderly and psychiatric patients. The authors' approach combines a probing analysis of fundamental issues in ethical theory with a sensitive awareness of the concrete realities of health care institutions and the highly personal and individual character of difficult practical problems. Its broad scope will appeal to health professionals, moral philosophers and lawyers alike. (shrink)
This volume collects AllenBuchanan's previously published articles with a focus on ethics and international law, specifically with regard to human rights, the legitimacy of international institutions, and the ethics of force across borders. The work fits together tightly in its systematic interconnections, and collectively it makes the case for a holistic and systematic approach to issues that are at the forefront of current discussions in political and legal philosophy- issues that have traditionally been seen as separate.
In Better than Human, noted bioethicist AllenBuchanan grapples with the ethical dilemmas of the medical revolution and biomedical enhancements. One problem, he argues, is that the debate over these enhancements has divided into polar extremes--into denunciations of meddling in the natural order, or else a heady optimism that we can cure all that ails humanity. In fact, Buchanan notes, the human genome has always been unstable, and intervention is no offense against nature.
If I could talk to the animals Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-15 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9553-1 Authors Thomas Suddendorf, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Mark E. Borrello, Program in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Department of Ecology Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA Colin Allen, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA Gregory Radick, Centre for History and Philosophy of (...) Science, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
Is it right to use biomedical technologies to make us better than well or even perhaps better than human? Should we view our biology as fixed or should we try to improve on it? College students are already taking cognitive enhancement drugs. The U.S. army is already working to develop drugs and technologies to produce "super soldiers." Scientists already know how to use genetic engineering techniques to enhance the strength and memories of mice and the application of such technologies to (...) humans is on the horizon. In Better Than Human, philosopher-bioethicist AllenBuchanan grapples with the ethical dilemmas of the biomedical enhancement revolution. Biomedical enhancements can make us smarter, have better memories, be stronger, quicker, have more stamina, live much longer, avoid the frailties of aging, and enjoy richer emotional lives. In spite of the benefits that biomedical enhancements may bring, many people instinctively reject them. Some worry that we will lose something important-our appreciation for what we have or what makes human beings distinctively valuable. Others assume that biomedical enhancements will only be available to the rich, with the result that social inequalities will worsen. Buchanan shows that the debate over enhancement has been distorted by false assumptions and misleading rhetoric. To think clearly about enhancement, we have to acknowledge that human nature is a mixed bag and that our species has many "design flaws." We should be open be open to the possibility of becoming better than human, while never underestimating the risks that our attempts to improve may back-fire. (shrink)
E-games are a dramatically expanding dimension of contemporary exploitations of computing and computer network technologies - one that, thus far, has evoked much more heat among parents and politicians than light in the form of serious scholarly and philosophical analysis. We argue that e-games deserve such analysis in part because of their intrinsic philosophical interest as they raise primary philosophical questions of ontology, epistemology, human nature, the character of "gameplay," - and most especially, of ethics. We further suggest that such (...) analyses - exemplified by the articles collected here - may also contribute to resolving the larger social and political debates evoked by e-games. (shrink)