Some bioethicists suggested that in a free society there are no good reasons—apart from the risk that a cloned human may suffer from genetic abnormalities—for cloning to be prohibited. Most bioethics concepts have arisen within the major religious traditions of the world, so there are many commonalities between religious and ethics training. I’ll post them for everyone to see.”. Fairness is an important aspect of justice. Also, when your students assert individual rights, you should ask what the consequences may be for others. Someone comes along and hops right to the front of the line. This objection was forcefully stated by the bioethicist Leon Kass, who appealed to what he called, in the title of a 1997 essay, “The Wisdom of Repugnance.”. Benefits: Plummeting costs and technical advances have made the goal of total genome synthesis seem much more immediate. You voice your discontent, and the person who jumped to the front comments that ‘everyone is allowed to do what they want.’ What might you say in response to engage this person in a constructive and meaningful dialogue?” (Student responds … .) Table 2c. I’d like to understand more about what you’re thinking and why you think so.”. For example, tell them that in order to be dismissed from the classroom, each student must write down his or her (tentative) stance along with at least one reason in support of that stance. Note that making solid and persuasive arguments is especially important if the student believes that society at large should follow his or her ethical standards. Students will discover that sometimes these ethical considerations clearly point out how best to act, while at other times they conflict and cannot all be satisfied. Specific suggestions for what you might say in a particular situation are aligned horizontally. If we do, we need to have guidelines first so that the people who do this work can proceed in a responsible way, with the right oversight and quality controls.”. Stakeholders are not always human beings or human organizations; ethical decisions might also affect animals, plants, organisms, or the environment. Once an ethical question has been chosen, students are asked to identify the facts necessary to think carefully about it. Can you describe it?”, “Which of the core ethical considerations do you think is at stake here?”, “What duties or obligations should be associated with this right?”, “If you exercised that right, what implications would it have for other individuals and for the community at large?”, “What if every individual exercised that right? Prompt students to draw on the relevant scientific facts; the social, economic, and historical contexts; the core ethical considerations; other relevant considerations; and their own values in coming to their conclusions. Rather, the goal is to enhance students’ ability to provide reasons for their beliefs in light of the core ethical considerations introduced here. Sample dialogues are in Table 2 (pages 16–19), as well as within the modules themselves. While you should encourage students to tolerate and respect many different views, they must recognize that not all behaviors are equally ethically appropriate and not all justifications are equally strong. Remind the class that all students need to have their voices heard. Table 2 is meant to help guide you through potentially difficult situations in classroom discussions of bioethics. Ask whether students can identify who or what would bear the obligation that corresponds to the right they are articulating. Professor Kevin Eggan of Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology said, “The question we should focus on is: Will this be safe and help the health of a child? For families who have watched their children suffer from devastating genetic diseases, the technology offers the hope of editing cruel mutations out of the gene pool. The process of ethical reasoning is fluid and can evolve as students consider a case more deeply. Solutions and and legal ones and from questions of personal preference, custom, or habit. Ethical analyses should take the legal context and local laws into consideration. The key questions and core ethical considerations serve as a framework for student thinking in the ethical domain. Monitor the amount of time that you speak. Ethics helps a physician decide what to do in a difficult medical situation. Similarly, thinking about stakeholders and their concerns can bring the relevant facts into focus. Students bring an inherent understanding of the concept of fairness to the classroom. In other words, these questions should help students clarify their thinking and come up with reasons to support their stances. Can we demonstrate that we can fix a mutation that will cause a terrible health problem, accurately and without the risk of harming their potential child? In China, in Dr. He’s case, you have someone who’s (allegedly) broken national law and scientific conventions. Then, you can present and discuss results at the beginning of the next class period. Individuals are free to make their own conclusions, but they should also strive to ensure that their beliefs are well informed and based on good reasons that can be explained to other people, especially people who may disagree with them. In one clinical trial, for example, scientists take blood stem cells from a patient, use CRISPR techniques to correct the genetic mutation causing them to produce defective blood cells, then infuse the “corrected” cells back into the patient, where they produce healthy hemoglobin. Are you trying to be sure that the person in the situation will receive respect for personal decisions or choices? Often, students will discover that the impact of a decision or policy affects many more people and kinds of stakeholders than they expected initially. First, you may want to reiterate to students that the modules in this curriculum supplement do not aim to change their minds but, rather, to help them articulate the reasons for their views. Ethical analysis gives people the opportunity to reflect on the underlying ethical considerations at the heart of most, if not all, religious teachings. These efforts might not succeed, but ultimately they are worth pursuing.”. a critical link between bioethics and the biology curriculum. “First of all, do no harm” is a familiar expression of minimizing harms when practicing medicine. The culmination of such advances in techniques for influencing human reproduction will be the mastery of genetic engineering. There is a whole spectrum of considerations to be debated. The ensuing discussion and the rules subsequently promulgated by the administration of President Ronald Reagan made it less likely that in the United States an infant with Down syndrome would be denied medically feasible lifesaving surgery, but other countries treated such cases differently. The Exploring Bioethics poster reminds students that sound justifications in bioethics require attention to four key questions and to relevant ethical considerations. The facts of the case may not be referenced, and ethical considerations may be missing in the discussion. focuses attention on the four key questions and core ethical considerations described above. This core ethical consideration focuses on trying to promote positive consequences by balancing harms (or burdens) and benefits. The justification references the ethical question but may not directly address it or attempt to resolve it. Medical ethics is important when examining a clinical case that may have many potential courses of action. The interests, concerns, and priorities of the stakeholders may be incomplete or missing for many stakeholders. The facts of the case are not referenced, and ethical considerations are not discussed. Additional important information is identified but may be partially incomplete. “There is also commercial potential and that will drive it forward. Students may feel uncomfortable offering an unpopular view. We’ve suggested that the national academies of more countries come together — the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S. and the Royal Society in the U.K. are very active here — because these are the groups most likely to have the expertise to convene these kinds of discussions and keep them going.”. U.S. failed to control pandemic, but vaccination provides ‘chance to get next phase right’, Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11282018b, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-03270-w, http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/29891181, http://blog.petrieflom.law.harvard.edu/2018/11/29/how-scott-gottlieb-is-wrong-on-the-gene-edited-baby-debacle/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5651701/, https://theforum.sph.harvard.edu/events/gene-editing/, Reining in growing powers of the presidency.