Medical Utopias: Ethical Reflections about Emerging Medical Technologies
The field of medicine is generally greeted with great enthusiasm. This can be witnessed in the immense support for medical progress, which is widely ... Show synopsis The field of medicine is generally greeted with great enthusiasm. This can be witnessed in the immense support for medical progress, which is widely hoped to lead to a realization of idealized goals. Indeed, with the help of medicine the human body would be controllable and constructible, human nature perfectible. However, enthusiasm in favor of medical progress is first and foremost a sentiment and, like all sentiments, not necessarily a product of rational contemplation. People are capable of enthusing about the realization of utopian notions, such as life without disease or with the perfect body, without requiring any concrete arguments to back them up. Enthusiasm alone is not a guarantee of ethical desirability, however. Hence, this book takes a closer look at four research fields often referred to in medical utopian literature: 'tissue engineering', 'bioelectronics', 'germ line genome modification' and 'interventions in the biological aging process'. They serve as a basis for analyzing whether ethical arguments can be found to support the euphoric advocacy of the further development of these fields.