An important feature of philosophical positions is not simply what they argue for. Rather, especially for this week’s readings, a general attitude, a sort of worldview combining beliefs, expectations, values, and moral principles, is an important part of considering controversies in contemporary medicine. The questions of genetic engineering, cloning, and organ transplants require an outlook on the future and a preference for a certain moral perspective, rather than simply getting various morally-salient facts correct.
In this week’s readings, we have considered a number of different attitudes: the conservative Kass against the more liberal Glover and Brock. In the first part of your response, try to outline the various concerns of Kass and Glover/Brock, and the sort of moral concepts each uses to project an attitude towards future medical technologies that could radically change human life. (If you think another attitude is important, such as the Spanish organ donation policy, explain how such a view could be included as an alternative to Kass, Glover and Brock.)
In the second part of your response, assess which view is best to consider the future of medicine. Does Kass’s conservatism provide the best sort of attitude concerning possible developments in medicine? Or is a more hopeful Glover/Brock attitude a superior way of accepting biomedical technologies without a limited conservative viewpoint? Which moral concepts are important that ultimately justify your preference for one view over the other? (For example, Kass emphasizes moral authority and tradition, against the interest of Glover/Brock in autonomy and innovation.)
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