Advances in genetic technology in general and medical genetics in particular will enable us to intervene in the process of human biological development which extends from zygotes and embryos to people. This will allow us to control to a great extent the identities and the length and quality of the lives of people who already exist, as well as those we bring into existence in the near and distant future. Genes and Future People explores two general philosophical questions, (...) one metaphysical, the other moral: (1) How do genes, and different forms of genetic intervention (gene therapy, genetic enhancement, presymptomatic genetic testing of adults, genetic testing of preimplantation embryos), affect the identities of the people who already exist and those we bring into existence? and (2) How do these interventions benefit or harm the people we cause to exist in the near future and those who will exist in the distant future by satisfying or defeating their interest in having reasonably long and disease-free lives? Genes and Future People begins by explaining the connection between genes and disease, placing genetic within a framework of evolutionary biology. It then discusses such topics as how genes and genetic intervention influence personal identity, what genetic testing of individuals and the knowledge resulting from it entails about responsibility to others who may be at risk, as well as how gene therapy and genetic enhancement can affect the identities of people and benefit or harm them. Furthermore, it discusses various moralaspects of cloning human beings and body parts. Finally, it explores the metaphysical and moral implications of genetic manipulation of the mechanisms of aging to extend the human life span.The aim Genes and Future People is to move philosophers, bioethicists, and readers in general to reflect on the extent to which genes determine whether we are healthy or diseased, our identities as persons, the quality of our lives, and our moral obligations to future generations of people. (shrink)
In Science and Ethics, Bernard Rollin examines the ideology that denies the relevance of ethics to science. Providing an introduction to basic ethical concepts, he discusses a variety of ethical issues that are relevant to science and how they are ignored, to the detriment of both science and society. These include research on human subjects, animal research, genetic engineering, biotechnology, cloning, xenotransplantation, and stem cell research. Rollin also explores the ideological agnosticism that scientists have displayed regarding subjective (...) experience in humans and animals, and its pernicious effect on pain management. Finally, he articulates the implications of the ideological denial of ethics for the practice of science itself in terms of fraud, plagiarism, and data falsification. In engaging prose and with philosophical sophistication, Rollin cogently argues in favor of making education in ethics part and parcel of scientific training. (shrink)
The individual self and its critics -- The individualist assumptions of bioethical frameworks -- The genetic self is the connected self -- The failures of individual ethics in the genetic era -- The communal turn -- Developing alternatives: benefit sharing -- Developing alternatives: trust -- The ethical toolbox part one: recognising goods and harms -- The ethical toolbox part two: applying appropriate practices -- Possible futures.
New genetic technologies and their applications in biomedicine have important implications for social identities in contemporary societies. In medicine, new genetics is increasingly important for the identification of health and disease, the imputation of personal and familial risk, and the moral status of those identified as having genetic susceptibility for inherited conditions. There are also consequent transformations in national and ethnic collective identity, and the body and its investigation is potentially transformed by the possibilities of genetic investigations and (...) modifications (including the highly controversial terrains of reproductive technologies and the use of human embryos in biomedical research). The papers in this volume, drawn from an international array of authors, address these issues from a variety of national, disciplinary and empirical standpoints. An informative read for postgraduates and professionals in the fields of sociology, social anthropology, science and technology studies, and environmental studies, the chapters comprise empirically based and theoretically informed discussions of key sociological, anthropological, political and ethical issues. Using the resources of a wide range of social science disciplines to provide a comparative approach to complex issues, this superb collection explores the local and global consequences of the new genetics, and analyzes the social implications of these advances for identity formation in a period of rapid social change. (shrink)
Scientific research and ethics -- Ethical theory and decision making -- Data acquisition and management -- Mentoring and professional relationship -- Collaboration in research -- Authorship -- Publication and peer review -- Misconduct in research -- Intellectual property -- Conflicts of interest and scientific objectivity -- The use of animals in research -- The use of human subjects in research -- The use of vulnerable subjects in research -- Genetics, cloning, and stem cell research -- International research.
All investigators funded by the National Institutes of Health are now required to receive training about the ethics of clinical research. Based on a course taught by the editors at NIH, Ethical and Regulatory Aspects of Clinical Research is the first book designed to help investigators meet this new requirement. The book begins with the history of human subjects research and guidelines instituted since World War II. It then covers various stages and components of the clinical trial (...) process: designing the trial, recruiting participants, ensuring informed consent, studying special populations, and conducting international research. Concluding chapters address conflicts of interest, scientific misconduct, and challenges to the IRB system. The appendix provides sample informed consent forms. This book will be used in undergraduate courses on research ethics and in schools of medicine and public health by students who are or will be carrying out clinical research. Professionals in need of such training and bioethicists also will be interested. (shrink)
Summary The author of the paper studies the ethical views of Matthias Bel expressed in his Preface to Johann Arndt's treatise and in Davidian-Solomonian Ethics, which contain a critique of false Christianity and ancient (especially Aristotle's) ethics. Bel refuses any philosophical ethics based on human nature, since man, in his very essence, is sinful and vicious. This leads to the general moral downfall of the young and mankind. He only recognises ethics whose source and the highest good (...) is God. He accepts ancient ethics as long as it is useful for achieving Christian moral values. Bel was a vociferous critic of the morality of the time; he adopted a highly negative stance towards the Jews and Gypsies living in the then Historical Hungary. The author considers Matthias Bel a confident, or enthusiastic, Pietist in the early period of his life and work; later, he rates him as a moderate Pietist. (shrink)
Since its inception as an international requirement to protect patients and healthy volunteers taking part in medical research, informed consent has become the primary consideration in research ethics. Despite the ubiquity of consent, however, scholars have begun to question its adequacy for contemporary biomedical research. This book explores this issue, reviewing the application of consent to genetic research, clinical trials, and research involving vulnerable populations. For example, in genetic research, information obtained from an autonomous research participant may have significant bearing (...) on the interests of family members who have not consented to the study. This casts doubt on the adequacy of consent for such studies. This book also questions the assumptions that informed consent is essential and that it satisfactorily protects the principle of individual autonomy. It reviews recent empirical studies that challenge the possibility of truly informed consent and highlights the extent to which consent is governed by social norms and expectations. It also investigates how consent might be of secondary importance in some circumstances, for example when a research project appears to protect a public or community interest. (shrink)
In the debate regarding the different possibilities for gene therapy, it is presupposed that the manipulations are limited to the nuclear genome (nDNA). Given recent advances in genetics, mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) and diseases must be considered as well. In this paper, we propose a three dimensional framework for the ethical debate of gene therapy where we add the genomic type (nDNA vs. mtDNA) as a third dimension to be considered beside the paradigmatic dimensions of target cell (somatic vs. (...) germ-line) and purpose (therapeutic vs. enhancement). Somatic gene therapy can be viewed today as generally accepted, and we review t he contemporary arguments surrounding it on the basis of bioethical-pragmatic, socio-political and deontological classifications. Many of the supposed ethical questions of somatic gene therapy today are not new; they are well-known issues of research ethics. We also critically summarize the different international perspectives and the German ethical discussion regarding manipulations of germ-line cells. (shrink)
Since the birth of the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1977, we have seen truly remarkable advances in biotechnology. We can now screen the fetus for Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and a wide range of genetic disorders. We can rearrange genes in DNA chains and redirect the evolution of species. We can record an individual's genetic fingerprint. And we can potentially insert genes into human DNA that will produce physical warning signs of cancer, allowing early detection. In fact, (...) biotechnology has progressed to such a point that virtually any kind of genetic manipulation, if not already possible, is just around the corner. But these breakthroughs also raise serious ethical and moral dilemmas that we are only now beginning to confront. In Wonderwoman and Superman, noted medical ethicist John Harris offers the first thorough analysis of the moral dilemmas created by the revolution in molecular biology. Covering a wide array of recent innovations, Harris discusses, for example, the moral decisions involved and the consequences of creating egg and embryo banks. Who should be allowed to use such resources? Should recipients be screened? Should such banks be open for public or private use? And does it cheapen life to make embryos available for sale? In another chapter, Harris examines the question of conceiving children chiefly for organ donation, focusing on the recent case of a woman who wanted to have a second child to provide a bone marrow donor for her first child sick with leukemia (she intended to abort the fetus if its bone marrow did not genetically match that of her living child). In this case, the medical staff had to decide whether they should perform in-vitro fertilization, knowing that the mother did not satisfy the clinic's criteria (there was no father), and also knowing the potential for abortion. Discussing the ethics of the mother's choice and the clinic's choice, Harris asks whether it is morally correct to create a child as an organ donor, whether the future child would suffer, whether it is worth any suffering to be born, and who has the right to weigh the various factors (both moral and physiological) involved in making these decisions. Delving into a multitude of issues such as when life begins, when suffering is needless, and whether we should play God, Wonderwoman and Superman provides not only a thought-provoking inquiry into the potential and actual ethical dilemmas created by the many advances in biotechnology, but challenges us to learn to choose responsibly and to face the moral implications of the choices that confront us. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Seven ways of making people better; 2. Rational approaches to the genetic challenge; 3. The best babies and parental responsibility; 4. Deaf embryos, morality, and the law; 5. Saviour siblings and treating people as a means; 6. Reproductive cloning and designing human beings; 7. Embryonic stem cells, vulnerability, and sanctity; 8. Gene therapies, hopes, and fears; 9. Considerable life extension and the meaning of life; 10. Taking the genetic challenge rationally.
The consequentialist project for human rights -- Exceptions to libertarian natural rights -- The main principle -- What is well-being? What is equity? -- The two deepest mysteries in moral philosophy -- Security rights -- Epistemological foundations for the priority of autonomy rights -- The millian epistemological argument for autonomy rights -- Property rights, contract rights, and other economic rights -- Democratic rights -- Equity rights -- The most reliable judgment standard for weak paternalism -- Liberty rights and (...) privacy rights -- Clarifications and responses to objections -- Conclusion. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework that will help in understanding and evaluating, along social and ethical lines, the issue of killing day-old male chicks and two alternative directions of responsible innovations to solve this issue. The following research questions are addressed: Why is the killing of day-old chicks morally problematic? Are the proposed alternatives morally sound? To what extent do the alternatives lead to responsible innovation? The conceptual framework demonstrates clearly that there is (...) a moral “lock-in”, and why the killing of day-old chicks is indeed an issue. Furthermore, it is shown that both alternative directions address some important objections with regard to the killing of day-old chicks, but that they also raise new dilemmas. It also becomes clear that the framework enables and secures anticipation, reflection, deliberation with and responsiveness to stakeholders, the four dimensions of responsible innovation, in a structured way. (shrink)
It is commonly understood that in its focus on rights and obligations law is centrally concerned with organising responsibility. In defining how obligations are created, in contract or property law, say, or imposed, as in tort, public, or criminal law, law and legal institutions are usually seen as society’s key mode of asserting and defining the content and scope of responsibilities. This book takes the converse view: legal institutions are centrally involved in organising irresponsibility. Particularly with respect to the production (...) of large-scale harms – including extensive human rights violations, forms of colonialism, or environmental or nuclear devastation – and in opposition to conventional understandings of responsibility in law, morality and politics, the book provides a detailed analysis of the ways in which legal institutions – their practices, concepts, and categories – themselves operate as much to deflect responsibility for harms suffered as they do to acknowledge them. Drawing on a series of case studies from local, national, and global concerns the book analyses how law facilitates dispersals and disavowals of responsibility, and it shows how it does so in consistent and patterned ways. In assessing how this ‘organised irresponsibility’ operates, and what its consequences are for both legal analysis and society generally, a thoroughgoing re-evaluation of law’s methods, operation, and consequences is required. At stake is nothing less than a fundamental re-assessment of the role of modern law in the production and legitimation of human suffering. This innovative and interdisciplinary book provides a sustained challenge to conventional thinking about law and legal institutions. It will be of major interest to those working in law, political and legal theory, sociology and moral philosophy. (shrink)
This book focuses on experimentation that is carried out on human beings, including medical research, drug research and research undertaken in the social sciences. It discusses the ethics of such experimentation and asks the question: who defends the interests of these human subjects and ensures that they are not harmed? The author finds that ethical research depends on the adequacy of review by committee. Indeed most countries now rely on research ethics committees for the protection of the (...) interests of the human participants in research. Dr McNeill analyses how successful these committees are in balancing the interests of science with the interests of human subjects. (shrink)
In The Ethical Primate , Mary Midgley, 'one of the sharpest critical pens in the West' according to the Times Literary Supplement , addresses the fundamental question of human freedom. Scientists and philosophers have found it difficult to understand how each human-being can be a living part of the natural world and still be free. Midgley explores their responses to this seeming paradox and argues that our evolutionary origin explains both why and how human freedom and (...) morality have come about. (shrink)
Research that involves the creation of animals with human-derived parts opens the door to potentially valuable scientific and therapeutic advances, yet invokes unsettling moral questions. Critics and champions alike stand to gain from clear identification and careful consideration of the strongest ethical objections to this research. A prevailing objection argues that crossing the human/nonhuman species boundary introduces inexorable moral confusion (IMC) that warrants a restriction to this research on precautionary grounds. Though this objection may capture (...) the intuitions of many who find this research unsettling, it relies on mistaken views of both biology and moral standing, ultimately distorting the morally relevant facts. We critically examine IMC, identify mistaken essentialist assumptions, and reframe ethical concerns. The upshot is a stronger line of objection that encourages a more inclusive and productive ethical discourse. (shrink)
Human Rights and the Ethics of Globalization provides a balanced, thoughtful discussion of the globalization of the economy and the ethical considerations inherent in the many changes it has prompted. The book's introduction maps out the philosophical foundations for constructing an ethic of globalization, taking into account both traditional and contemporary sources. These ideals are applied to four specific test cases: the ethics of investing in China, the case study of the Firestone company's presence in Liberia, free-trade and (...) fair-trade issues pertaining to the coffee trade with Ethiopia and the use of low-wage factories in Mexico to serve the US market. The book concludes with a comprehensive discussion of how to enforce global compliance with basic human rights standards, with particular attention to stopping abuses by multinational corporations through litigation under the Alien Tort Claims Act. (shrink)
Forward - Prefacio - Acknowledgments - Preface - About the author - Part One: the rhetoric - An urgent context for twenty-first century librarianship - Human rights, contestations and moral responsibilities of library and information workers - Part Two: the reality - Practical strategies for social action - Prevalent manifestations of social action applied to library and information work - Specific forms of social action used in library and information work for social change - Closing thought.
There have been serious controversies in the latter part of the 20th century about the roles and functions of scientific and medical research. In whose interests are medical and biomedical experiments conducted and what are the ethical implications of experimentation on subjects unable to give competent consent? From the decades following the Second World War and calls for the global banning of medical research to the cautious return to the notion that in controlled circumstances, medical research on human (...) subjects is in the best interest of the given individual and the broader population, this book addresses the key implications of experimentation on humans. This volume covers major ethical themes within biomedical research providing historical, philosophical, legal and policy reflections on the literature and specific issues in the field of research on human subjects. Focusing on special populations (the elderly, children, prisoners and the cognitively impaired) it represents the most up-to-date review of the special ethical and legal conflicts that arise with relation to experimentation on subjects from these groups. In the light of current initiatives for law reform pertaining to research ethics the world over, this volume provides a timely, comprehensive and provocative exploration of the field. The volume has been carefully organized to present important philosophical perspectives on organizing principles that should underlie any practical application. A forward-looking historical review of the regulatory regimes of principal jurisdictions, including of the legal controls already in place, provides the backdrop for future policy initiatives. Additionally, in the light of global restructuring of health care systems, several chapters have been devoted to epidemiological research and related issues. (shrink)
Up to the present, there have not been any specific norms regarding medically assisted human reproduction in Romanian legislation. Due to this situation the general legislation regarding medical assistance, the Penal and Civil law and the provisions of the Code of Deontology of the Romanian College of Physicians are applied to the field of medically assisted human reproduction. By analysing the ethical and legal conflicts regarding medically assisted human reproduction in Romania, some characteristics cannot be set (...) apart because they derive from religious, cultural and socio-economic aspects. In this article the authors identify the development stages of medically assisted human reproduction in Romania, beginning from these characteristics and insisting upon the failure of the legal system in this specific field. The authors consider that the law regarding medically assisted human reproduction cannot be effective because it did not take into account the ethical and cultural aspects that might appear. Furthermore, in this framework of the legal process, no public debate involving the representatives of civil society was undertaken although the Council of Europe Oviedo Convention approved by our country according to law no. 17/2001 stipulated exactly this working method. Content Type Journal Article Pages 4-13 Authors Beatrice Ioan, PHD, MD, MA IN BIOETHICS, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania Vasile Astarastoae, PHD, MD, JD, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania Journal Human Reproduction & Genetic Ethics Online ISSN 2043-0469 Print ISSN 1028-7825 Journal Volume Volume 14 Journal Issue Volume 14, Number 2 / 2008. (shrink)
For elite athletes seeking a winning advantage, manipulation of their own genetic code has become a realistic possibility. In Genetic Technology and Sport, experts from sports science, genetics, philosophy, ethics, and international sports administration describe the potential applications of the new technology and debate the questions surrounding its use.
This short and accessible book is designed for those learning about the search for ethical rules that can apply despite cultural differences. Robert Audi looks at several such attempts: Aristotle, Kant; Mill; and the movement known as "common-sense" ethics associated with W.D. Ross. He shows how each attempt grew out of its own time and place, yet has some universal qualities that can be used for an ethical framework. This is a short, accessible treatment of a major topic (...) in ethics by a senior and highly-respected figure. (shrink)
Message from the planet -- When prophecy fails -- Energy and empire -- Climate economics -- Ethical emissions -- Dwelling in the light -- Mobility and pilgrimage -- Faithful feasting -- Remembering in time.
The therapy-enhancement distinction occupies a central place in contemporary discussions of humangenetics and has been the subject of much debate. At a recent conference on gene therapy policy, scientists predicted that within a few years researchers will develop techniques that can be used to enhance human traits. In thinking about the morality of genetic interventions, many writers have defended somatic gene therapy, and some have defended germline gene therapy, but only a handful of writers defend genetic (...) enhancement, or even give it a fair hearing. The mere mention of genetic enhancement makes many people cringe and brings to mind the Nazi eugenics programs, Aldous Huxley's BraveNewWorld, or the recent movie Although many people believe that gene therapy has morally legitimate medical uses, others regard genetic enhancement as morally problematic or decidedly evil. (shrink)
IRBs in action -- Everyone's an expert? Warrants for expertise -- Local precedents -- Documents and deliberations: an anticipatory perspective -- Setting IRBs in motion in Cold War America -- An ethics of place -- The many forms of consent -- Deflecting responsibility -- Conclusion: the making of ethical research.
Addresses the issues at the heart of international medicine and social responsibility. A number of international declarations have proclaimed that health care is a fundamental human right. But if we accept this broad commitment, how should we concretely define the state’s responsibility for the health of its citizens? Although there is growing debate over this issue, there are few books for general readers that provide engaging accounts of critical incidents, practices, and ideas in the field of human rights, (...) health care, and medicine. Included in the book are case studies of such issues as AIDS among orphans in Romania, organ trafficking, prison conditions, health care rationing, medical research in the third world, and South Africa’s constitutionally guaranteed right of access to health care. It uses these topics to address themes of protection of vulnerable populations, equity and fairness in delivering competent medical care, informed consent and the free flow of information, and state responsibility for ensuring physical, mental, and social well-being. (shrink)
Mankind is nowadays faced with many different challenges brought about by the exploration of the molecular basis of heredity. Many entwined questions arise: is genetic knowledge relevant to the comprehension of nature in general and of man’s vision of himself in particular? Faced with the new possibilities of insight and intervention in human genom, how should we conceive nature ? Modern molecular biology has demonstrated that our genetic patrimony must not be considered throughly and completely determined; on the contrary (...) it constitutes an aray of possible dispositions, on which we have the possibility to intervene, therefore changing our destiny. The insight in man’s genom has therefore on one side made our personal and hereditary dispositions accessible and comprehensible to us ; on the other side humangenetics makes it possible for everyone to change his/her personal genetic constitution or that of his/her descendants, and therefore indicates a previously unknown way of autonomous behaviour. The ethical judgement of the above mentioned possibilities on one side questions the legitimacy of the aims and on the other analyses whether a justification of the tools used for these purposes is possible. The difference between therapeutic and non-therapeutic interventions or between somatic interventions on individuals and interventions on the germinal line are to be considered part of the aim’s question, whereas the moral analysis of the means is oriented towards the unconditional respect of the autonomy of those involved and towards a manifold evaluation of benefits, drawbacks and risks. (shrink)
This paper reports from an ongoing multidisciplinary, ethnographic study that is exploring the views, values and practices (the ethical frameworks) drawn on by professional staff in assisted conception units and stem cell laboratories in relation to embryo donation for research purposes, particularly human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, in the UK. We focus here on the connection between possible incidental findings and the circumstances in which embryos are donated for hESC research, and report some of the uncertainties and (...) dilemmas of our staff participants. We explore the views of our study participants in relation to two themes: (1) rights to information and anticipating how donors might be informed about future research findings and (2) occupational work goals and trust. (shrink)