1 / 22

Intro to Bioethics - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on Intro to Bioethics. Emerged in 50’s-60’s Modern detail due to new technology advances (e.g. the pill, abortion, dialysis, transplants)

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about ' Intro to Bioethics' - fulton-carr

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Intro to bioethics

Intro to bioethics
Intro to Bioethics

  • Emerged in 50’s-60’s

  • Modern detail due to new technology advances (e.g. the pill, abortion, dialysis, transplants)

    • At same time as awareness of dangers of “pure progress” (e.g. Silent Spring)

    • Also civil rights

    • Time of increased individualism and choices

    • Affirmative right to health (not just absence of disease)

    • Reframing of who has rights

  • But still all about the same old questions

    • Life and death

    • Pain and suffering

    • Duty to others

Other historical context
Other Historical Context

  • Eugenics

    • Eugenics movement big in US

      • Anti-miscegenation laws

      • Margaret Sanger

      • Forced sterilizations of the “unfit”

    • Also big with Nazis…

  • Experiments on prisoners and disabled

  • Colonialism

Other historical context tuskegee experiment
Other Historical Context: Tuskegee Experiment

Ran from 1932-1972

~400 poor, rural African-American men with syphilis (200 w/o)

Offered free medical care

Not told about or treated for syphilis

Penicillin available in 1940, standard by 1947

Wanted to see progress of disease

The field
The field…

Ethics meets life sciences (medicine)

An academic field of its own

Provides cultural perspective

Affects law, policy, media, culture, other disciplines

Struggles to be taken seriously…. But is contributing

Bioethics gets at
Bioethics gets at….

  • Tension between individual and private

    • Large scale policy/legislation

  • Tries to answer questions about what we should do

    • Applied at different levels


  • Idea that

    • science/medicine = fact/ truth/ solid/ authoritative

    • ethics = soft/ relativistic/ personal/ idiosyncratic

    • And that these are separate

  • Then a good medical decision = a good moral decision

  • Goal of bioethics is to blur that line

    • Develop tools/methods to deal with problems

    • Different from “medical ethics”


  • How can I be moral and act morally to others?

  • What do I base this on?

    • Virtue v. duty?

    • Principles?

    • Rights? (deontology)

    • Consequences (utilitarianism)

    • Whose freedom/choice gets prioritized

    • Top-down v. bottom-up

Feminist Bioethics

Intro to bioethics

A little more on bioethics
A little more on Bioethics

  • Hard to define  but about values and promoting them

    • About right and wrong

  • Says that fact that we don’t know how to deal with conflict is evidence that Bioethics is not as solid as science

  • But decisions have to be made and we need to know how to deal with them

  • About a common morality

Different philosophies
Different Philosophies

Utilitarianism – consequences

Deontologism – logically derived rules from principles

Principalism – morality based on autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice

Intro to bioethics


  • Non-human animal ethics is based on assertion that animals feel pain and are conscious

    • General agreement (science + experience)

  • Therefore a general assumption that procedures that hurt people also hurt animals

Context and history
Context and History

  • Lots of animals used in experimental work

    • >22 million/year as of 1986

    • Mice, rats, cats, dogs, rabbits, primates, pigs….

  • Toxicity testing

    • Until late 80’s, LD50 was standard for everything

    • Also Draize eye test  consumer backlash

  • Military

    • Relatively undocumented (and unregulated)

    • Monkey radiation

  • Psych research

    • Big exposés a Penn about monkey studies

  • Dissection

    • Out of favor, more alternatives


Most countries have some protection


Most institutions have committees/codes

In defense of
In defense of….

  • Leads to breakthroughs

  • Advances knowledge and disease cures

  • Mostly harmless studies

  • Lots for vet purposes

  • Justifications:

    • Benefit to humans > harm to animals

    • Knowledge > harm

Intro to bioethics

If we believe (as we do now) that this doesn’t justify harm to non-consenting adults, we have to establish a different moral status of humans and non-human animals.

Some positions
Some positions….

  • Biblical

    • We have domain (but we are also the shepherds)

  • Animals don’t have rights

    • Are not moral (rational) agents capable of autonomous action

    • Therefore we only have moral obligation to those who can reciprocate

  • Contract based on species membership

Utilitarianism applied
Utilitarianism Applied

  • Benefit to human life span is worth it

    • Bypass graft example

  • Genuine utilitarianism looks at all pain

    • Need a human-centric flavor

  • Inconsistent to not use for lab work but to use for food?

The range of anti s
The range of anti’s

  • Abolitionists

    • Ends don’t justify means

    • Pain/death of an innocent is wrong

    • Hard for many to be absolute if outcome is important enough

  • Reformers

    • Ok if we change practices and benefit good enough

    • Promote alternate methods

    • The 3 R’s

      • Reduction

      • Refinement

      • Replacement

Moral status
Moral Status

  • We don’t draw ethical boundary at species

  • Not just about ability

  • Speciesism analogous to racism

    • Intelligence argument is a slippery slope

  • Not claiming all interests are equal, but all should be considered

  • Need to examine assumption that restricting animal research impedes science