Does it Matter when Life Begins?

PZ Meyers recently blogged about his response to one of the perennial claims of pro-life advocates: that life begins at conception.  Predictably, he accuses pro-lifers of misunderstanding the question, and he does this by denying that life begins at conception because life began billions of years ago: everything else is just a part of a […]

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Is the World’s Smartest Man an Act Utilitarian?

Okay – since everyone else on teh t’interwebz seems to be blogging about Watchmen, I thought I might join in.  Especially because, if I don’t, David will: I think he’s more of a geek than I.  (Most people are.)  So, yeah.  Long, violent, extraordinarily faithful to the book except for the improved dénouement, I’d’ve shot […]

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The ethics of abortion – De ja vue or necessary debate?

This summer I realised with some horror that it was 20 years ago I first presented a paper at an international medical ethics conference while still being a medical student. That paper was on who should control the fate of aborted foetuses and the paper I gave the year after at the same conference was […]

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Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 6. ed. – Nearing perfection?

It is rare to be able to review a book long before it is published. But my copy bears the publication year of 2009, even though I bought it in July 2008. Be that as it may, seven is the number of perfection so it is relevant to ask whether the 6th edition of Tom […]

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Toleration and method in bioethics

It has been argued by some that bioethicists and in particular philosophers must be tolerant of the variety of different methods that might be employed in trying to answer the questions focused on by medical ethics/bioethics. Thus it is claimed we ought to accept as equally valid to classic philosophical analysis; empirical work, psychological work, […]

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