Plumb Lines

July 21, 2009

Progressive Bioethics?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Matthew Schmitz @ 12:33 am

Those who follow the often tendentious debates over bioethics will be encouraged to see this article in the journal Democracy, which deflates much of the rhetoric of the so-called “progressives” who oppose any limits on the biotech industry:

It is not “anti-science” or illegitimate to bring political values to bear on science policy–even when it’s Bush or his religious supporters doing it. To suppress scientific evidence or distort research findings because they are politically inconvenient, to disregard expert advice and relevant technical information–these practices are anti-science, and the Bush Administration made a habit of them. But to consider social and ethical values in the course of crafting policy is not only appropriate, but necessary. And disagreement about social and ethical values, or about how to apply them, is a necessary aspect of democratic political contestation.

Maybe there is some hope of moving forward in these discussions.

-Matthew Schmitz

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