Medical and Research Ethics Studied by Commission (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The commission provided a public forum to identify issues, reach conclusions, and make recommendations on controversial ethical and legal topics in medical fields.
Summary of Event
Traditionally, ethical issues in American medical practice were resolved privately by the patient, his or her family, and the physician. Recent expansions in scientific and technological capabilities fundamentally have transformed medicine’s role in American social and political life, creating new rights for society and new responsibilities for biomedical science. As advances have increased in sophistication, so have difficulties grown in complexity for policymakers, professionals, and citizens. Systematic work in biomedical ethics is a recent phenomenon, although discussion on these topics has taken place among philosophers and theologians for centuries. Despite demands for greater public accountability in government, American citizens in the early 1990’s still have little or no direct voice in biomedical policy. Most health-policy matters are decided by administrative agencies. These agencies rely heavily on scientific experts on their staffs and those in universities and private industry. The budget for biomedical research is controlled largely by Congress. The growing gap between technical achievements and society’s capacity to deal with them has been recognized for some time. Creation of a presidential advisory...
(The entire section is 2011 words.)
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