Ethical Framework - BSC 3402 Theory and Practice in the...

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BSC 3402 Theory and Practice in the Biological Sciences Bioethics: A Framework for Bioethical Dilemmas From: B. Mepham. 2008. Bioethics . Oxford University Press Throughout this course we will encounter bioethical issues, so I wanted to give you a little background on how you might go about thinking about ethical issues. Your ethical principles may be very clear to you for normal everyday issues, but the problems encountered by you as a researcher and as a professional biologist are not always easy or clear. And there are differences of opinion that you will need to take into consideration. Examples of Ethical Questions in Biology: Should cloning (as in Dolly) be allowed in order to help an infertile couple have a child? Should all visitors to the US be required to provide DNA samples as a means of enabling the police to detect criminals? Should people be able to choose the sex of their children? Should we be required to modify our life style for future generations? (sustainability) Why We Need a Framework for Ethical Decisions At the practical/experimental level there are ethical dilemmas e.g. treatment of human or animal subjects At the epistemological level, we face ethical decisions Biology presents us with new issues that challenge our assumptions about life Career decisions often involve ethical decisions e.g., how to interact with other scientists Responsible citizens need to make ethical decisions about biological topics e.g., how new developments affect life style choices such as health, sustainability Bioethical Dilemmas are characterized by Good reasons are proposed both for supporting and for opposing a particular course of action The ethical acceptability of a course of action depends to a significant degree on scientific evidence which may be complex and/or incomplete and/or debatable A decision has to be made by and/or for society as a whole in which a significant number of people may oppose the opinion held by most scientific experts Ethical issues are crucially important in the biosciences in relation to the process of discovery as well as the application of biological knowledge. There are a variety of ethical approaches that can be used, so how can we decide what to do in any particular case? Many of these conflict or do not obviously relate to new technologies.
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Ethical Framework - BSC 3402 Theory and Practice in the...

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