Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bioethics and Society

In fact, the article referenced in this post is not about bioethics and society per se, however, it does speak to the ethical framework at the heart of the relativistic culture. It is by Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, a Catholic priest, PhD and Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia.

Father Tadeusz writes a monthly column called Making Sense out of Bioethics, and this article was his April 2007 submission. His style is crisp and to the point, and he helps us see the moral imperative at the center of many ethical issues, including, abortion, contraception, in vitro fertilization, euthanasia, and a host of others. Below is the opening paragraph to his column entry, Recapturing the Soul of Bioethics.

Modern bioethics seems to be going through a kind of identity crisis. With ethicists available for hire, drug companies and biotech firms have easy access to "experts" who can provide them with the veneer of respectability if they decide to head in the direction of unethical science. Erwin Chargaff, a pioneer in the field of biochemistry, once quipped that, "Bioethics didn't become an issue until ethics started being breached. Bioethics is an excuse to allow everything that is unethical." One common approach to allowing the unethical is to claim that, "We have already made certain choices, and now we really must move on to the next step - we must yield to the inexorable progress of science." Rather than examining and rejecting certain poor choices that may have been made in prior years, and trying to regain lost ground, bioethicists today unwittingly continue to grease the slippery slopes by their lack of courage in disavowing some of the unethical practices they have aided and abetted in the past.
Look for Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk's work in your diocesan newspaper, or bookmark his page at the NCBC website.

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