There should no longer be any doubt about whether humans will one day be genetically modified. A new tool – called CRISPR – is already being used to edit the genomes of insects and animals. Essentially a very sharp molecular knife, CRISPR allows scientists to carve out and insert genes precisely and inexpensively. It is only a matter of time before it will be used to engineer our descendants – eliminating many dangerous hereditary diseases in the process.
The New York Times editorial page is the latest in a lengthening series of commentaries worrying about the impact of two proposed corporate mergers in the health insurance market. Anthem has agreed to acquire Cigna and Aetna is taking over Humana. That means the number of big health insurers will drop from five to three.
Even if they aren’t flesh, “mindclones” deserve protection.
For much of the 20th century, capital punishment was carried out in most countries. During the preceding century many, like England, had daily public hangings. Today, even Russia, with a mountainous history of government-ordered executions, has a capital-punishment moratorium. Since 1996, it has not executed a criminal through the judicial system.
If we can learn to protect the lives of serial killers, child mutilators, and terrorists, surely we can learn to protect the lives of peace-loving model citizens known as mind clones and bemans—even if they initially seem odd or weird to us.
A 17-year-old girl, listed in court papers only as Cassandra C., is in protective custody at a Connecticut hospital where she is being forced to undergo chemotherapy treatment that she says she does not want. Americans strongly value the right to refuse medical care.
Caplan’s work fosters greater understanding of science, medicine and ethics. On March 24, 2014 the National Science Board (NSB) announced that renowned bioethicist and IEET Trustee Arthur Caplan, a global leader in medical ethics, is the 2014 recipient of its Public Service Award for an individual.
The FDA is considering approving an experiment to repair a genetic disease in humans by creating embryos with DNA from three parents. Genes would be transferred from a healthy human egg to one that has a disease and the “repaired” egg then fertilized in the hope that a healthy baby will result. The goal of the experiment in genetic engineering is not a perfect baby but a healthy baby.
Thirteen-year-old Jahi McMath died on Dec. 12 at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. Yet about a month later, Jahi is still on a ventilator because her parents refuse to accept her death. Aided by a misguided legal decision, she has been moved to another facility to be kept on artificial life support, which makes no medical or moral sense. What’s being done to her corpse is wrong, but a bigger issue is the threat her case poses to the rational and moral use of health care resources.
Genetically modified food has had a rough year in what has been a fairly miserable decade. In August, 400 farmers in the Philippines stormed a government-owned GM (as it is known) research field. The protesters destroyed 1,000 square meters of Golden Rice, a variety genetically engineered to cut down on vitamin A deficiency.
Arthur Caplan, renowned bioethicist, presents simply brilliant argumentation that aging is an unnatural process in this paper. It’s a must-read. I’d love to highlight the main thoughts that I find are profoundly important for the whole fighting aging field.
The mass murder of 20 children and six adults Friday in Newtown, Conn., has provoked yet another round of recrimination, finger pointing and breast-beating. Was the shooter mentally deranged? If there was more gun control, would this have happened? Did violent video games play any role? What we fervently want as we continue to reel from a story whose misery seems to know no bounds is to find a clear cause - a reason why this happened - so that we can fix it.
Right now, nearly 114,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ transplants to save their lives. Tens of thousands more are in need of tissue, bone and cornea transplants to restore their mobility or sight. Facebook has decided to do something about the constant shortage of donors.
The German Medical Association has issued a remarkably blunt and straightforward apology, more than six decades after the end of World War II, for the role it played during the Holocaust in the mass murder, sterilization and barbaric medical experiments done on Jews and many other groups.
Lots of Americans buy the argument that we should ration health care according to lifestyle. So do many employers who are trying to charge their obese employees more for health insurance. But if we are going to penalizing the health care sinners amongst us, shouldn’t we target all of those who raise our collective health care bill through poor lifestyle choices? This means you, cat owners.
Martine Rothblatt. J.D., Ph.D., author, producer, entrepreneur and Founder/President of Terasem Movement, Inc., contemplates manners in which the legal system will accommodate multiple versions of our future selves, be it a single or multiple versions or across multiple substrates of the originating, conscious person.
Professor Sylvia Law, a noted legal scholar, argued that “a core feminist claim is that women and men should be treated as individuals, not as members of a sexually determined class.” This is also a theme that Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg emphasized in her lawsuits as a women’s rights advocate: “Nurturing children in my ideal world would not be a woman’s priority, it would be a human priority.” This feminism rejects sex-based differences among people as wholly irrelevant to any socioeconomic purpose. As Simone de Beauvoir noted some four decades ago: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
If the law does bend and reform itself to eliminate the legal separation of people into males and females, what will become of sex-separate lavatories? Do not the genitals of a citizenry become a proper interest of the state when it comes to exercising excretory functions in public buildings? Is not the public restroom, with its separate urinals for men and makeup mirrors for women, proof that the apartheid of sex is necessary?
The third criterion of life, Transcendence, requires a potential life form to demonstrate that it can extend itself beyond its information processing capability to serve the purpose of life. A fair test for Transcendence is compliance with the Second and Third Principles of Geoethics – the Principles of Equilibria and Assurance. (Part 4 of Hybriduality and Geoethics)
To avoid confusion we need a new, more appropriate term for the study of life than biology – which is now more properly understood as the study of life built from organic cellular chemistry. A better term for the study of life is Vitology.
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