Now for something completely different – at least for BioEdge: bioethics-inspired poetry. Johann Roduit sent us some thoughts in verse about “enhancement, transhumanism, immortality ... “ Dr Roduit is Managing Director of the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland.
A creature of clay. I am
Shattered so easily.
Facing Pompeii's destiny.
A man of steel. I desire
An artificial heart.
Chasing the philosopher’s stone.
A ghost in a shell. I become
Deprived of my flesh.
Dissolving under Icarus’ sun.
A creature of steel. I remain
Hoping for the Potter’s breath.
"Digital Dust" was first published in the journal Medical Humanities.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
In a recent article in the American Journal of Bioethics, bioethicist Art Caplan and three colleagues call for a complete overhaul of the venerable Belmont Report (see below). This is the 1979 US government report which set out three famous principles which have governed human research ever since: respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.
Most government reports are already gathering dust within a few months after their publication. But the Belmont Report’s influence has been enormous, as it shaped the bioethical framework for clinical and research decision-making in the US and many other countries as well.
Caplan & Co make a good case for revising the standards in the light of experience and changing times. But it comes at an awkward moment: the Trump Presidency. What kind of commission would Mr Trump create to study this issue? Perhaps a noisy and truculent one, a bull in the bioethics china shop. Be careful what you wish for?
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