Archive for the ‘General Bioethics’ Category

Defining Dignity:
Worldviews and the Fate of Bioethics

[Note: Commitments at the CBHD bioethics conference prevent me from being able to write any original posts tonight. So in honor of the conference I ‘
July 14th, 2005 | General Bioethics | Read More

STD Gravy:
The Debate Over Condom Labeling

In February of 2004, Advocates for Youth, a non-profit group advocating for sex education, joined with the sexual health-oriented Alan Guttmacher Institute to release a report claiming that half of all young Americans will get a sexually transmitted disease by the age of 25. “Given the prevalence...
July 5th, 2005 | General Bioethics | Read More

Bring Out Your Dead:
Touring Corpses and the Yuck Factor

In his Histories, Herodotus, the first Western historian, relates a curious anecdote about the Persian king Darius. Gathering a group of Greeks who were presently at his court, the king asked them what they would take to eat the dead bodies of their fathers. They replied that no sum of money would entice...
June 6th, 2005 | General Bioethics | Read More

Get Them a Megaphone:
The Huffington Post on Bioethics

Since the invention of democracy in ancient Greece, it has been a common practice for political opponents to shout down each other, attempting to rebut an argument by drowning out the opposing view. This is a regrettably common feature in political discourse. But not only is this method contrary to reasoned...
May 31st, 2005 | General Bioethics | Read More

The Embryo Eaters:
A Bioethical Thought Experiment

The following thought experiment is used to explore some basic assumptions currently held in the field of bioethics. As with any such hypothetical scenario, a certain degree of liberty is taken with what is considered within the realm of possibility. Some people may complain that I have stretched outside...
April 28th, 2005 | General Bioethics | Read More

Defending the Wisdom of Repugnance:
Part 1 of 3 — Disgust as a Learned Emotion

The concept of the “wisdom of repugnance”, a phrase first coined by bioethicist Leon Kass, has been much maligned recently. Many critics believe the idea that the “ick factor” should play a role in ethical debate is patently absurd and completely irrational. I disagree and in...
March 4th, 2005 | General Bioethics | Read More

Defending the Wisdom of Repugnance:
Part 2 of 3 — Disgust as a Form of Cognition

In 1980, cult-movie director David Lynch released “The Elephant Man,” a film that told the story of John Merrick, a 19th-century Englishman who had the disfiguring congenital disease, Proteous Syndrome. After spending most of his life as a side-show freak, Merrick wanted nothing more in life...
March 4th, 2005 | General Bioethics | Read More

Defending the Wisdom of Repugnance:
Part 3 of 3 — Science and the Need for Intellectual Humility

In 1997, bioethicist Leon Kass wrote an article for The New Republic entitled “The Wisdom of Repugnance” in which he proposed a ban on human cloning. Though the article is rarely read by critics of Dr. Kass, the title lives on as a dismissive summation of the “anti-scientific, pro-religious”...
March 4th, 2005 | General Bioethics | Read More

Of Mice and Men (and Other Chimeras):
Biotechnology and Animal-Human Hybrids

The French writer Vercors begins his novel, ‘
January 28th, 2005 | General Bioethics | Read More

Taming Tom Sawyer:
Ritalin as a Substitute for Character (Part 1)

[Note: Since I '
January 21st, 2005 | General Bioethics | Read More