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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index B > Category: Bioethics

Bioethics Quotes (12 quotes)

A moral principle in genetic testing is that it should always be done with the consent of the individual. No one wants someone snooping into his DNA.
Quoted in S.C. Gwynne, 'Genes and Money', Time magazine (12 Apr 1999).
Science quotes on:  |  DNA (52)  |  Genes (2)

If people think that the parts are treated like commodities, bought and sold, they may be much less willing to give. Bodies aren't the same as Coca-Cola cans.
Commenting on the discovery of five human heads in a leaking package by a parcel carrier company during transit from Philadelphia to Denver.
Lindsey Grunson, 'Signs of Traffic in Cadavers Seen, Raising Ethical Issues', New York Times (25 Sep 1986), A14.
Science quotes on:  |  Dissection (15)

It might be argued that a genetically enhanced athlete, like a drug-enhanced one, would have an unfair advantage over his unenhanced competitors. But the fairness argument against enhancement has a fatal flaw: it has always been the case that some athletes are better endowed genetically than others, and yet we do not consider this to undermine the fairness of competitive sports. From the standpoint of fairness, enhanced genetic differences would be no worse than natural ones, assuming they were safe and made available to all. If genetic enhancement in sports is morally objectionable, it must be for reasons other than fairness.
Michael J. Sandel, 'The Case Against Perfection', The Atlantic Monthly (Apr 2004).
Science quotes on:  |  Genetic Engineering (11)  |  Sports (2)

Just the Human Genome Project alone is the Full Employment Act for bioethicists.
Quoted in Michael Schrage, 'Increasing Medical Dilemmas Mean Job Security for Budding Bioethicists', San Jose Mercury News (13 Oct 1992), 3D. In Donna Jeanne Haraway and Lynn M. Randolph, [email protected] (1997), 109.
Science quotes on:  |  Human Genome Project (3)

Nothing that you do in science is guaranteed to result in benefits for mankind. Any discovery, I believe, is morally neutral and it can be turned either to constructive ends or destructive ends. That’s not the fault of science.
Quoted by Jeremy Pearce in 'Arthur Galston, Agent Orange Researcher, Is Dead at 88', New York Times (23 Jun 2008), B6.
Science quotes on:  |  Benefit (29)  |  Construction (43)  |  Destruction (59)  |  Discovery (411)  |  End (62)  |  Ethics (24)  |  Fault (15)  |  Guarantee (9)  |  Mankind (123)  |  Morality (19)  |  Neutral (4)  |  Nothing (111)  |  Result (149)  |  Science (998)

People ask, 'Is the science going to run ahead of the ethics?' I don't think that's always the problem. I think it's that the science runs ahead of the politics. Bioethics can alert people to something coming down the road, but it doesn't mean policy and politicians are going to pay attention. They tend to respond when there's an immediate crisis. The job of the ethicist, in some ways, is to warn or be prophetic. You can yell loudly, but you can't necessarily get everybody to leave the cinema, so to speak.
Interview by Karen Pallarito in The Scientist (Jan 2008), supplement, 74.
Science quotes on:  |  Politics (57)

Some see a clear line between genetic enhancement and other ways that people seek improvement in their children and themselves. Genetic manipulation seems somehow worse - more intrusive, more sinister - than other ways of enhancing performance and seeking success. But, morally speaking, the difference is less significant than it seems. Bioengineering gives us reason to question the low-tech, high-pressure child-rearing practices we commonly accept. The hyperparenting familiar in our time represents an anxious excess of mastery and dominion that misses the sense of life as a gift. This draws it disturbingly close to eugenics... Was the old eugenics objectionable only insofar as it was coercive? Or is there something inherently wrong with the resolve to deliberately design our progeny's traits... But removing coercion does not vindicate eugenics. The problem with eugenics and genetic engineering is that they represent a one-sided triumph of willfulness over giftedness, of dominion over reverence, of molding over beholding.
Michael J. Sandel, 'The Case Against Perfection', The Atlantic Monthly (Apr 2004).
Science quotes on:  |  Genetic Engineering (11)  |  Sports (2)

The challenge is for bioethicists to position themselves to be on panels, boards and other decision making bodies where oublic policy positions wil be established—where the exploding changes in health care that are now underway will be addressed.
In Hugo Tristram Engelhardt and H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., Global Bioethics (), 359.
Science quotes on:  |  Health Care (3)

The use of fetuses as organ and tissue donors is a ticking time bomb of bioethics.
Quoted in Andrea Dorf and Joe Levine 'Help From The Unborn Fetal-Cell', Time magazine (12 Jan 1987).
Science quotes on:  |  Stem Cell (8)

There has never been just 'coach class' health care, but with these amenities you are seeing people get priorities according to your ability to pay. It's one thing to say you get perks; it's another to say you can buy your way to the head of the line.
Quoted in Nancy S. Tilghman, 'Southampton Hospital Drops V.I.P. Idea', New York Times (27 Jun 2004), L13.
Science quotes on:  |  Hospital (22)  |  Money (91)

When you're talking deaths in clinical trials, mistakes are not an option. It's just an area where we have to have absolute, foolproof reporting in place.
Stephanie Saul, 'U.S. Not Told of 2 Deaths During Study of Heart Drug ', New York Times (4 Jan 2006).
Science quotes on:  |  Death (199)  |  Error (161)

With terminal illness, your fate is sealed. Morally, we're more comfortable with a situation where you don't cause death, but you hasten it. We think that's a bright line.
Comparing the U.S. with Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal for patients suffering 'intolerable health problems.'
Quoted in Amanda Ripley, 'True Freedom', Time magazine (20 Apr 2003).
Science quotes on:  |  Suicide (12)

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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