The Loss of Medical Ethics

“The moral worldview of any scientifically literate person, one who is not blinkered by fundamentalism, requires a radical break from religious concepts of meaning and value….The worldview that guides the moral and spiritual values of an educated person today is the worldview given to us by science.” Steven Pinker

Manipulating nature, sex selection, genetic engineering, deciding when to start and end life, and eugenic testing are just a few instances where God and science come face to face.  We play God by overlooking and attempting to eliminate human weakness or by manipulating the natural world around us. 

There’s too much potential for human misuse and abuse when it comes to manipulating life.  The advantages and disadvantages from the creation or manipulation of life must be weighed heavily in order to understand what impact these actions will have on us.

Steve Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard believes in scientism, the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning.  A self-proclaimed atheist since the age of thirteen, what Pinker doesn’t believe in is ethics.

In his article, The Moral Imperative for Bioethics, penned for the Boston Globe, Pinker blamed bioethics for slowing down medical progress because it insists that “human beings be treated with dignity.”   He writes that a “truly ethical bioethics should not bog down research in red tape, moratoria, or threats of prosecution based on nebulous but sweeping principles such as dignity, sacredness or social justice.…”    

Bioethicist Robert Veatch of Georgetown University published a paper in the Journal of Clinical Ethics proposing, of all things, that patients in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) be used as “living cadavers.”  He writes that “for a human to exist in any legal, moral or socially significant sense, he must have the presence of integrated mind and body.”  And, since those diagnosed as vegetative are thought to be unaware, they are merely “respiring cadavers”  who could even be buried except that it “is simply unaesthetic to bury someone while still breathing.” 

Belgian professor An Ravelingien agrees with Veatch.   He believes that if the scientific community would simply agree that anyone in a persistent vegetative were technically dead, they would be able to experiment on them just as they do with cadavers.   He also believes that what he calls “living cadavers” should never be referred to as patients because it wrongly humanizes them and “impedes the discussion.”  What a jackass!

A 1996 article in the British medical journal argues that if “the legal definition of death” could include “patients with irreversible loss of higher brain” (PVS) it would be possible to use “lethal injection” to stop their heart and “remove organs needed for transplantation.” 

In order to exploit we must first dehumanize.  Just as the left dehumanized unborn babies in order to legally murder them, scientists are now proposing that we strip vulnerable patients of their humanity in order to redefine a diagnosis of PVS into the legal equivalent of death, even when the “dead” patient continues to breathe without assistance.   

Our current laws governing research were enacted because of a long history of abuse and were aimed at fulfilling the essential task of protecting and preserving the fundamental dignity of human life as elucidated in the Nuremberg Code established in 1948, which stated that “the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.”   Although it did not carry the force of law, the Nuremberg Code was the first international document that advocated voluntary participation and informed consent.

And yet a 1968 study called the Artificial Placenta proved beyond any doubt that voluntary participation and informed consent was only a suggestion and not standard operating procedures.     

The Artificial Placenta study used a live 26 week old baby supposedly obtained from a teenager through therapeutic abortion.  Along with 14 other live babies, this premature child was immersed in a liquid containing oxygen and kept alive for a full five hours.  According to the notes of the experiment, “irregular gasping movements twice a minute occurred in the middle of the experiment but there was no respiration. Once the pumping in of oxygenated blood was stopped, the gasping respiratory efforts increased to 8 to 10 per minute. After stopping the circuit, the heart slowed and eventually stopped and the baby died 21 minutes after leaving the circuit.  In other words, instead of saving this child, they murdered it.

While any sane individual would consider what they did as inhuman and on par with Dr. Menegel’s sick experiments on Jewish babies, the scientific community as a whole applauded this experimentation on live babies that clearly violated medical ethical standards.  The study even won the Foundation Prize Award from the American Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Not only are these people wrong, they’re very scary.

“If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.“   Henry Kravis

Source:  Steven Pinker Pushes Unethical Human Research, National Review; Experimenting With Live Patients, SFGate; Fetal Farming is Not a Pipedream: History of Living Fetal Experiments, National Review;  Ethics in human research,  PubMed Central;  Using science to play God,  Quantum Run

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