The Problem with Bioethics

Once upon a time, a discipline called "medical ethics" existed and was held in high regard. Medical ethics addressed the subjects of triage and best use of sparse resources in medicine: who to save when you cannot save everyone? New advances in medicine were welcomed and enthusiastically funded, because new and better medical technology meant improvements in health, lifespan and the ability to save more lives.

Somewhere along the way, overstressed, under funded medical ethics - a discipline whose members welcomed new medicines, new therapies and better ways to treat disease - became fat, well-funded "bioethics." Bioethics is concerned with slowing down the advance of medical science with deep philosophical and ethical questions that can only be answered by means of large salaries, hundred million dollar buildings, and political interventions.

In short, medical ethics lost its way and become corrupted by power.

Bioethicists and bioethics organizations profit by inventing new roadblocks to throw in the path of hardworking medical researchers. This is the fundamental problem with bioethics. It is not in the self-interest of any bioethicist to actually help scientific research proceed, or to refrain from inventing reasons to block progress towards vital new therapies. After all, research that can just go ahead unhindered will not put dollars in the bioethicist's pocket, nor justify a fat salary and an expensive campus.

Bioethics is a parasite; sucking funding that should have been used to develop better, cheaper, more widely available medicine. Funds that could have gone to developing cures - literally hundreds of millions of dollars - are instead going to organizations that produce nothing but hot air, self-justification and reasons why we should not develop cures. Entire branches of the most promising modern medicine have been set back by years.

As parties who profit from slowing and blocking research, it is only natural that bioethics organizations and anti-research, luddite groups have come together in recent years. Supporters of regenerative medicine (based on stem cell and therapeutic cloning research) have watched bioethics groups earn a good living by supporting politicians and influential special interest groups in their attempts to ban research, for example.

The President's Council on Bioethics is packed with the worst offenders in this union of self-interested bioethicists, anti-research politicians and special interest groups. Pronouncements from the Council and Leon Kass, its chairman, are used as justification for legislation designed to shut down stem cell research. The Council has further advocated worldwide bans on research into regenerative medicine, and on any research towards extending the healthy human lifespan.

It is here that we see that the logical final evolution of bioethics, just as for legal institutions and other groups that make a living through obstruction, is to be assimilated into an interventionist government.

So the next time you hear a bioethicist commenting on research, remember what their motivations are. Remember how they earn a living, and remember how that is going to affect your future health and longevity.


Bioethicists also prevent horrible, wrong, scary things from happening. They may get paid, but most jobs pay, chances are none of them are doing it for the money.

Posted by: carly at November 28th, 2005 8:53 PM

They may not be doing it for the money, but if they want to keep getting paid to do it, they have to keep finding (or "finding") problems (or "problems"). If you want to see where the problems are, follow the incentives.

Posted by: Reason at November 28th, 2005 8:54 PM

Bioethics is steeped in Utilitarianism. It's nothing new. The Nuremburg ethics addressed this problem years ago. The Nazi's were all about survival of the fittest, (in their case, themselves). who are these modern day philosophers who try to mandate morals? Who are these self-proclaimed ethicists who decide which are persons, and which are non persons? Why is it only a small percentage of doctors today swear by the Hypocratic oath? The discussion of medical ethics is the first step to policy change. We are in that stage ladies and gentlemen. The next stage is of course, killing disabled children and adults, the mentally ill, and probably, those with acne as their equity to society is negotiable at best.
They are monsters and deserve imprisonment. But of course, a secular nation such as ours can produce nothing less, can we?

Posted by: Michael A Materazzi at August 1st, 2006 7:49 AM

Quoth carly: "Bioethicists also prevent horrible, wrong, scary things from happening."

The operative word is "scary". Bioethics is Romantic fear of science, systematized. It's not sense, it's panic, and like a panicking horse the bioethicist runs into the burning barn, by turning away from knowledge and towards willful ignorance.

I regard the practitioners of bioethics as my personal enemies - they're as inimical to my life and health as the smallpox virus.

Posted by: Julian Morrison at February 2nd, 2007 6:07 AM

"We are in that stage ladies and gentlemen. The next stage is of course, killing disabled children and adults, the mentally ill, and probably, those with acne as their equity to society is negotiable at best."

Oh please. Cum hoc, ergo propter hoc or, perhaps, the slippery slope. Wanting to improve the gene pool doesn't mean that people will start killing people. That's logically equal to saying that people will start killing people out of addiction because they will do so in a video game, which obviously isn't true.

Posted by: Alfred at December 25th, 2007 12:45 AM

Bioethicists are responsible for a 10 year rollback on everyone's life expectancy.

Posted by: Alexandre at August 13th, 2008 1:39 AM

Once again, it's interesting to note that humans are so vain and egotistical as to believe that they know better than nature how to "improve the gene pool." I'd say nature and natural selection has done a wonderful job for humans thus far.

PS - Humans need to get old and die. Seriously, what makes you people think that you are better than the new children waiting to start utilizing your resources. Please to die.

Posted by: Dawson at October 3rd, 2008 6:25 AM

It's funny how LITTLE you actually understand the interdisciplinary field of medicine and bioethics. People like you who generalize and stereotype an entire professional field only make yourselves look like 'uneducated fools.'

You are simply unable to examine and truly understand the ethical principles of medical practice and how they are deeply ingrained into the philosophy of medicine and society, as a whole.

I want to advance medicine as much as you, but what you fail to understand is the repercussions of certain research protocols. Without bioethics, there would be no rules or regulations to safeguard patient autonomy.

Without bioethics, we would not be able to see where and when to draw the line on controversial issues. And without bioethics, medical scientists would conduct surgical transplants and illegal medical procedures without proper consent of the law.

Next time, read a few books on the topic before you write. It'll make you seem only..... half as dumb.

Try it.

Posted by: Joel at November 2nd, 2008 3:23 PM

Amen Joel

Posted by: Sarah at December 1st, 2009 5:59 PM

My dear humans! Bioethics is become and important issue in this era. The most important things is the life of human beings . We have to solve the new issues , the only way is research for these issues e.g ( transplantation of organs ).

Transplantation of organ is an ethical issue , the most important solution is (stem cell embryogenesis ). For this their should be team of" histologist " for research and they should have sport for all people to solve this huge problem and for the save of thousands of people , which are dying every year.

This is the question of humans life ,,,God bless you .

Posted by: aqeel at March 4th, 2011 9:14 AM

There is a difference between being a wise incisive thoughtful philosopher of medical science and being a glorified opinion/editorial columnist. Far too many bioethicists are the latter. Any idiot can have an opinion. Any idiot can support this or oppose that. It takes no intellectual effort to oppose indefinite extension of lifespan. It takes no intellectual effort to call transhumanists shallow or narcissistic. It DOES take intellectual effort to engage other ideas and use logic and reason to dismantle them. That often requires debate. Does Leon Kass ever debate longevity proponents?

Posted by: amperro at January 18th, 2020 1:28 AM

Bioethics are the biggest threat to medical progress since the church wanted to ban anaesthesia for being immoral.

Seriously, as a medical patient who desperately awaits better treatments for my problems, bioethicists are evil, telling me I should suffer or die because its the morally superior choice. Gotta love it when some ivory tower idiot lectures you about what is most morally relevant in your existence. Cures obviously are not on the plate, and of course, if they didnt create fake debates they would have no salary for their inflated opinions. How about we talk to doctors and patients about what is moral in their treatment, not someone paid to complain?

Posted by: Sarah at June 12th, 2021 9:48 PM
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