domingo, 13 de agosto de 2017

BioEdge: ‘Digital dust’

BioEdge: ‘Digital dust’


 ‘Digital dust’
Now for something completely different – at least for BioEdge: bioethics-inspired poetry. Johann Roduit sent us some thoughts in verse about “enhancement, transhumanism, immortality ... “ Dr Roduit is Managing Director  of the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland.

Responses? Comments?

Digital dust

A creature of clay. I am
Shattered so easily. 
Delicate dust,
Facing Pompeii's destiny.

A man of steel. I desire
An artificial heart.
Simulated soul,
Chasing the philosopher’s stone.

A ghost in a shell. I become
Deprived of my flesh.
Digital dust,
Dissolving under Icarus’ sun.

A creature of steel. I remain
Fragile undoubtedly.
Digital death,
Hoping for the Potter’s breath.

"Digital Dust" was first published in the journal Medical Humanities

Sunday, August 13, 2017

In a recent article in the American Journal of Bioethics, bioethicist Art Caplan and three colleagues call for a complete overhaul of the venerable Belmont Report (see below). This is the 1979 US government report which set out three famous principles which have governed human research ever since: respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.
Most government reports are already gathering dust within a few months after their publication. But the Belmont Report’s influence has been enormous, as it shaped the bioethical framework for clinical and research decision-making in the US and many other countries as well.
Caplan & Co make a good case for revising the standards in the light of experience and changing times. But it comes at an awkward moment: the Trump Presidency.  What kind of commission would Mr Trump create to study this issue? Perhaps a noisy and truculent one, a bull in the bioethics china shop. Be careful what you wish for? 

Michael Cook


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A foray into the poetry of transhumanism
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