Go read Nigel Cameron’s Choosing Tomorrow, today!
(I can’t resist red buttons marked “push” or puns.)
I’ve been writing a piece on “Public Health Ethics,” part of which I dredged up for my comment on this remark of Dr. Cameron’s,
“Bioethics” is an optical illusion. Which is not to say that we don’t need IRBs and clinical ethicists to titrate the rights of human subjects and patients in our universities and hospitals. But on the larger stage it’s broke, not least since you can say “autonomy” as often as you like and still not begin to address the vast issues of policy that beckon on the cusp of this still-new millennium. And at the end of the day autonomy and policy lie on opposite ends of a continuum.
(I love the analogy, “titrate the rights” – that’s classic bioethics-speak!)(for those who don’t remember Biology class – that was when we had two dispensers of liquids, acid and base, and we put a few drops of one and then a few drops of another, until the stuff in our beaker was neither pink nor blue, but purple or – better for the analogy – clear.)