Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Top 10 stories in bioethics

Wesley J. Smith lists -- in his opinion -- the 10 most important bioethics stories of the past decade:

10. The ascendance of an anti-human environmentalism
9. The growth of biological colonialism
8. The increase in American pro-life attitudes
7. The struggle over Obamacare
6. Legalization of assisted suicide in Washington
5. The success of adult-stem-cell research
4. "Suicide tourism" in Switzerland
3. IVF anarchy
2. The Bush embryonic-stem-cell funding policy
1. The dehydration of Terri Schiavo

Read about each one here. At the heart of all these issues is the question of whether we will maintain a commitment to the equal dignity of all human beings, especially in the wake of new technological and cultural developments.

Smith writes:
We are in danger of supplanting human exceptionalism — belief in the intrinsic dignity and equality of human life — with a "quality-of-life ethic" in which some of us are deemed to matter more than others. But the path to such a brave new world is proving to be neither straight nor unimpeded. Indeed, there are encouraging signs the sanctity of life could make a comeback.