From the File Marked “This Can’t End Well”

… and cross-referenced with the file marked “You Wouldn’t Let It Lie”. Francesca Minerva has a paper in Bioethics in which she refers – none-too-obliquely – to the furore surrounding The Paper Of Which We Do Not Speak.  Her central claim is that there is a threat to academic freedom posed by modern communications, inasmuch […]

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Is the NIMH Turning its Back on DSM-V?

Thanks to Brian Earp for bringing this release from the US’ National Institute of Mental Health to my attention; it concerns the Institute’s decision to move away from DSM as its diagnostic tool.  DSM has been enormously successful – in terms of having established itself at the centre of psychiatry – but it has been […]

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Cochlear Implants and Minority Cultures

A bit more on the cochlear implant thing that I’ve been mentioning off and on for the past couple of months.  William Mager posted a link to something a little while ago on why some members of the deaf community are against CIs.  This attitude had always puzzled me.  Anyway, this, by Christina Hartmann, is the […]

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Passive Euthanasia: A Cri de Cœur

Don’t worry: this isn’t another instance of me yammering on about the right to die or the right to induce death. I’ve recently received a parcel; it contained a copy of this book by Leanne Bell, which happened to fall open at p 204.  On that page, you’ll find this passage: Active euthanasia involves a deliberate act […]

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An open letter from Giubilini and Minerva

When we decided to write this article about after-birth abortion we had no idea that our paper would raise such a heated debate. “Why not? You should have known!” people keep on repeating everywhere on the web.  The answer is very simple: the article was supposed to be read by other fellow bioethicists who were […]

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Why Is Infanticide Worse Than Abortion?

Guest Post by James Wilson The controversy over the Giubilini and Minerva article has highlighted an important disconnect between the way that academic bioethicists think about their role, and what ordinary people think should be the role of bioethics.  The style of this dispute – its acrimony and apparent incomprehension on both sides – are […]

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Couldn’t find the language – the positive counterparts of risk and hazards

Continuing my recent theme of the impact of language on ethics and decision making I’m presently writing a paper on the use of claims based on justice to object to new technologies such as human enhancement or synthetic biology. In the process of writing this paper I’ve encountered a rather odd gap in our language. […]

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Ethics (without the brain?)

I’ve set my RSS to receive updates from Secondhand Smoke, which is one of the blogs at First Things.  It’s written by Wesley Smith, who is affiliated to the Discovery Institute, the creationist thinktank in Seattle: that gives you an indication of the sort of position he occupies – not just on bioethics, but also […]

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