Ethical issues that arise from modern biotechnologies include the availability and use of privileged information, the potential for ecological harm, access to new drugs and treatments, and the idea of interfering with nature. Biotechnological health is going through what all other emerging scientific disciplines are experiencing: the challenge of defining its ethical limits. Research, cost and privacy issues raise concerns that third party payers, employers, suppliers and policy makers will face in the coming years. As the first decade of the 21st century reaches its midpoint, Biotechnology Healthcare has identified five topics that dominate ethical discussions about biotechnological medicine.
1 These issues will continue to generate controversy in the near future, forcing third-party payers, employers and union purchasers, and healthcare providers to address the political implications of some or all of them for years to come. In a 2002 article published in Epidemiology Review, Jeremy Sugarman, MD, MPH, professor of bioethics and medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, wrote: “It is critical to ensure that research is conducted in a responsible manner throughout the study cycle, from the way participants are selected to the way data is entered, analyzed and reported. Attention must be paid to every aspect of research conduct for the success of the scientific enterprise and to protect study participants and others from unnecessary harm. Arturo L.
Caplan, PhD2, who heads the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, highlighted in a recent interview with Biotechnology Healthcare that researchers must ensure that clinical trials are not distorted by inconsistent arrangements. In addition, he says, volunteers should not be recruited in a way that suggests that they are being paid bribes, as opposed to reimbursing legitimate expenses. The cost of defending the United States against bioterrorism poses a number of problems, says Dr. David Krause of Vicuron Pharmaceuticals.
Protecting patient privacy is a growing concern, thanks to technology that allows the human genome to be decoded. However, as scientists become experts at deciphering a person's genetic makeup, compromising information about a person's future health is increasingly likely to become available. For example, you may know that a 5-year-old child will develop serious heart disease later in life, but does a potential employer have a right to know? How will this knowledge affect a person's ability to get a job, insurance, or a mortgage? Should insurers and others have such information? This is a thorny problem destined to become even thornier. However, even this statement leaves open the question of the extent to which the needs of society can eclipse a person's rights.
This is especially true in the wake of the Patriot Act. By reflecting the public's fears of terrorism, federal law is triggering an intense debate about people's right to privacy and the security concerns of society in general. With legal challenges pending, it's easy to see how even a managed care ethical statement can cause difficulties. This should come as no surprise.
Stem cell research is anathema to the religious right and made its way in the recent presidential elections. National Library of Medicine 8600 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20894.Biotechnology involves genetic engineering and DNA-based research that can be lethal to humanity and covers various ethical, legal, and social issues. Technology poses environmental problems when there are environmental exposures that pose a risk to humans, wildlife or the integrity of ecosystems. It has been argued that agricultural biotechnology may pose risks to wildlife in or near agricultural fields.
There are also issues related to the question of whether agricultural ecosystems can themselves exhibit characteristics of ecological integrity. North American approaches to environmental ethics have placed greater emphasis on the third category, namely, non-anthropocentric effects. The preservation of wild and endangered species has been of particular importance in Canada and the United States. In part, this emphasis is due to the fact that environmentalists in Canada and the U.S.
UU. They have sought persuasive reasons to set aside the relatively large tracts of undeveloped land that exist in these countries. Industrial, scenic and recreational uses provide a basis for valuing wild ecosystems in economic terms. The main philosophical tasks have been understood in terms of developing a justification for valuing and preserving wild ecosystems, including key species, regardless of their economic value.
Given this orientation, it would be expected that products such as transgenic salmon, which could affect wild salmon populations, would be among the most controversial applications of biotechnology from the perspective of ecocentric environmental ethics. . .