February 16, 2012

"[T]he whole enterprise of bioethics as tainted by conflicts of interest..."

"[I]t’s always in bioethicists’ professional interest to suggest that a new technology raises troubling moral issues that require deep (funded) thought and extensive (lucrative) conferences..."

15 comments:

Paddy O said...

As a theologian-in-training, my concern is that there is not enough consideration of the pyscho-spiritual aspects of bioethics that would funnel money my direction.

traditionalguy said...

You don't want your Death Panelists to be low paid hacks. Only elite Panelists are needed, and we will get what we pay for.

edutcher said...

Forty years ago, there was a George Of The Jungle where the witch doctor, about to have a little retribution laid on him, made his exit with, "I'm late for a meeting of the medical ethics committee".

The more things change...

PS Ann, please tell me the cryptogram word verifications aren't an option you selected.

YoungHegelian said...

I'm not sure that the Instapundit quote that headlines the article is particularly relevant to the article itself. True, maybe.

The article seems to describe a tempest in a teapot. I mean, the guy resigned to seek greener pastures with a biotech firm, not the American Nazi Party. It just took longer to resign than some folks thought proper. McGee founded the journal! It probably wasn't easy for him to hand over his baby to someone else.

Such pettiness ill suits a bunch of "ethicists".

traditionalguy said...

The ethics of gender re-assignment can be complex, but the ethics of gender re-re-assignment requires top level experts.

Bender said...

And that conflict is the conflict between the interests of objective truth, most especially the truth of the inalienable diginity of the human person, and the interests of ideology.

"Bioethics" exists so as to fully embrace as virtuous what was rejected yesterday as reprehensible.

As Richard John Neuhaus observed 24 years ago, today's bioethics experts "produce evermore sophisticated rationalizations for turning the unthinkable into the routinely doable. The prohibited becomes the permissible becomes the expected. 'But that would be murder!' is an objection that loses its force the second time around." ("The War Against Reason," National Review, Dec. 18, 1987)

Practically the entirety of what was a few years ago called the "New Biology" was once universally seen as great evils, but are now celebrated fundamental rights, from frozen embryos to embryo-killing stem cell research to other embryo and fetal experimentation to attempted human cloning to organ harvesting to baby selling to the medicalized "aid in dying" of euthanasia, assisted suicide, and withholding of care, to eugenics to, of course, abortion, including abortifacient pills (falsely called emergency "contraception") and that species of death which nearly fully delivers the baby before jamming a pair of pointed scissors into the baby's skull and sucking her brains out to collapse the head, which, as gruesome as that is, still nevertheless leaves militant advocates for abortion.

All of these, and more, contribute to a culture of death -- death not only of the physical body, but death of conscience and death of the soul, and eventually death of society itself. "Never again" becomes "once again" becomes government mandates that you be involved and pay for it.

rhhardin said...

I cancelled my subscription to Ethics (U Chicago) in 1977, for not having any interesting questions.

Critical Inquiry I continue to receive for sentimental reasons, hoping that they'd bring back Cavell, Derrida, Levinas, perhaps an obscure article newly translated for the latter two.

Otherwise it's a left wing swamp.

Sorun said...

In the context of "right to die," a University of Minnesota medical ethicist once predicted there would "death shops" on every street corner. Not a very thoughtful point of view.

I give an ethicist the same consideration I'd give an astrologer.

Henry said...

YoungHegelian wrote: I mean, the guy resigned to seek greener pastures with a biotech firm, not the American Nazi Party. It just took longer to resign than some folks thought proper.

Ethicists will approve anything so long as its not done by corporations.

It is a systematic goal by the anticorporate left to equate not just companies, but entire economic sectors as off-limits to profitable entrepreneurship. Education, biotech, pharma, energy -- in these the for-profit companies exist only to be hated, plundered, and destroyed.

Patrick said...

"president of Ethics and Strategic Initiatives"

I just can't help thinking that his job will be to come up with an ethics opinion favoring whatever initiative proves to be profitable.

I hadn't really considered that there were enough "bioethicists" to have a journal, let alone argue about one.

Beta Rube said...

If you replaced a few words you could come up with something like "It's in the best interests of climate scientists to predict dire and looming consequences from human activity, thus prompting the need for large study grants and luxurious conferences."

Maybe Crack will stop by and explain to us that this is all part of how the high Priests of New Age extract their tribute from the rest of us.

Amexpat said...

Yes, this raises serious questions about the ethics of bioethics. What we need is some serious funding to study this with findinds presented at a conference. How about Hawaii?

fleetusa said...

yep, all they want is more money...

Dave said...

"yep, all they want is more money..."

I'd say it's money, power and prestige. In what field other than medicine is there an outside group seeking to define their ethics as a career? Can you imagine the same for lawyers?

Three tries on the WV and one of them had hebrew characters: this is ridiculous

Stuart Rennie said...

The Instapundit post assumes that all of bioethics is about development of new biotechnology. That assumption is false. Same holds for the claim that all bioethicists mindlessly embrace biotechnology over traditional values and hence are advocates of a 'culture of death.' I wonder why these trends are turned into caricatures and delivered with such vitriol. Maybe just another way that our intellectual life is transformed into a type of entertainment.

Many of the responses assume that all bioethicists think they have some expertise, in the form of being able to conclusively answer difficult ethical questions to everyone's satisfaction. That assumption is obviously false in that it fudges what ethics is. Mostly that bloated idea of 'expertise' is projected onto bioethicists, in order to distainfully tear them down when they don't deliver 'the goods'. (You mean you are NOT like the Pope?) Makes for good copy. Never stops the people who distain bioethics from making (sometimes badly argued) pronouncements about right and wrong on other occasions, interestingly. As long as they don't call themselves bioethicists, it's all good.

The idea of all bioethicists being richly paid ... maybe a couple of bioethicists (in America) the press keep coming back to, in order to feed the 'culture wars.' (Death panels! Face transplants! Harvest organs from the living!) As for the vast majority, including myself, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that one.