Monday, June 22, 2009

The Politics of Bioethics

Over at First Things Joe Carter reports:
Earlier this week, members of the President’s Council on Bioethics were told by the White House that their services were no longer needed. President Obama’s decision was made and implemented in his typical style—gracious, pragmatic, and imprudent. According to the New York Times, the council was disbanded because it was designed by the Bush administration to be “a philosophically leaning advisory group” that favored discussion over developing a shared consensus. The new bioethics commission appointed by Obama will have a new mandate to offer “practical policy options.”

In other words, the Obama administration already knows where it stands on all those pesky moral issues like human cloning, chimeras, and euthanasia, and just needs a group to provide advice on how to implement its preferred policies. Whereas the previous councils wrestled with such questions as “What is the nature of human dignity?” the new one will most likely be addressing more practical policy options, such as “How much should we pay women to harvest their eggs for cloning?”

The previous councils appointed by President Bush were accused of being ideologically biased. And so they were. Most of the members appeared to have a bias in favor of dignity and against giving free reign to technological innovations that alter our identity as humans.* The new council, of course, will also be ideologically biased, though likely in a more narrow way that is in line with progressive bioethics. (To predict where the new council will stand you merely have to ask, “What would Art Caplan do?”)
Read the entire article HERE.


Jase and Melissa said...

"After all, if you want people to blindly follow your lead on policy the last thing you want them to do is to think deeply about the issues involved." I think this statement must have been plagiarized from the 2008 Democratic campaign strategy playbook. However, in more pressing news- Jon & Kate make their ratings inflator announcement this evening- Though I am sure you've already scheduled your evening around the drama. (9pm TLC, just in case :)

Bill Legge said...

Clones are people two.

Todd Pruitt said...

J & M

Thinking too deeply about the ethics of abortion and stem cells may cause one to become pro-life and we can't have that.

I don't know who to be more frustrated with Jon and Kate or the public that has made them celebrities. It used to be that you had fly across the Atlantic, cure polio, split the atom, walk on moon to be really famous. Now you just have to have a bunch of kids and be willing to make your life a public spectacle.


We certainly are!