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October 11, 2006

Whose ethics?

Topics: The Truth About PVS

The recent article endorsing the use of PVS patients for barbaric experiements brought this stinging commentary.

Recent articles in the "Journal of Medical Ethics" have gone so far as to call for designating someone in this condition as "dead," saying their cognitive impairments justify treating them as cadavers.
Dr. Steven Curry from the University of Melbourne in Australia defends medical experimentation on PVS patients regardless of prior consent. While expressing doubts (!) that the public would willingly accept designating PVS patients as dead, he thinks science is justified in using them in the same way as cadavers. If Curry had his way, he would run medical experiments such as animal organ transplants on PVS patients. He wants a convenient end-run around laws regulating medical experimentation on living human beings.
The columnist asks:
Who will we next designate as not actually human? We have already consigned the unborn infant to the status of non-human. If a patient with PVS is to be treated as a cadaver, one more barrier to barbarism will have fallen. We are in danger of working our way back to the medical ethics of Josef Mengele, the medical doctor called the "Angel of Death" in the Nazi concentration camps.

Continue reading Whose Ethics?

Posted by Mary at October 11, 2006 8:59 AM

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