Printed: 2020-05-29

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Law and Order: BPU (BioPolitical Unit)

February 01, 2010

Like the popular TV series,  sometimes the law is prescriptive, restricting human behavior, but it is also fluid and evolves, reflecting social norms.  Solving recurrent problems, setting standards for desirable behavior, proclaiming symbolic expressions of communal values (such as autonomy and privacy), resolving disputes about facts, and such, are just some of the important functions which the law serves in our society.  However, law is not the only domain that regulates behavior in our culture; morality, religion, social conventions, etiquette, moral and ethical values also guide human conduct in many ways which are similar in altering and shaping human performance.  Technological advances in human enhancement will not only change social norms and conventions, but will challenge our current laws and our current legal systems.

Linda MacDonald Glenn is a bioethicist, healthcare educator, lecturer, consultant and attorney. Formerly a fellow with the Institute of Ethics of the American Medical Association, and current Women’s Bioethics Project Scholar, Linda Macdonald Glenn’s research encompasses the legal, ethical, and social impact of emerging technologies and evolving notions of personhood.  Linda currently holds faculty appointments at the University Of Vermont College Of Nursing and Health Sciences, Department of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences, and the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, Department of Biomedical Writing. An active lecturer, Linda has spoken at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Loyola University at Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School and various law schools. She has also addressed numerous public and professional groups internationally. 

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