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.