A truly ethical bioethics should not bog down research in red tape, moratoria, or threats of prosecution based on nebulous but sweeping principles such as “dignity,” “sacredness,” or “social justice.” Nor should it thwart research that has likely benefits now or in the near future by sowing panic about speculative harms in the distant future. These include perverse analogies with nuclear weapons and Nazi atrocities, science-fiction dystopias like “Brave New World’’ and “Gattaca,’’ and freak-show scenarios like armies of cloned Hitlers, people selling their eyeballs on eBay, or warehouses of zombies to supply people with spare organs. Of course, individuals must be protected from identifiable harm, but we already have ample safeguards for the safety and informed consent of patients and research subjects.
Ah yes. How did that work out for Planned Parenthood harvesting organs from aborted babies? Who were denied status as patients, of course.
In Canada, deaths after live abortions are now a routine “grey zone”, as the Supreme Court struck down all laws governing the procedure. Evolutionary psychology’s bioethics hard at work?
Then there was Christ Hospital.
And how about these “speculative harms” based in the distant now? Like new euthanasia legislation. Is there some part of old people’s bodies that could be similarly harvested? If so, count on it.
You want Pinker administering your health plan, right? Oh, wait …
Look: You buy it, you vote for it, you own it.
See also: Evolutionary psychology
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