Bioethics as a Force for Change — Health Care Policy, Financial Systems, and Environmental Conservation

by David Lemberg MS DC on November 11, 2012

[Published April 30, 2012 on BIOETHICS TODAY] “A call to arms” may be a bit martial for many bioethicists, but we live in perilous times. Meaningful action is needed across the board with respect to the functioning of government, whether federal, state, or local. We are confronted with the effects of benighted policies (or lack of policies and lack of regulations) that threaten to destroy our national (and global) financial system, our national health care “system” (really a default hodgepodge of buyers, sellers, and canny middlemen), and our global ecosystem. Standards of living continue to erode in the U.S. and Europe. Unemployment persists at high levels. In the United States, at least, educational achievement is in free fall. We live in a national culture that has degraded to the narrow perspective of me and mine. It is not an exaggeration to assert that many Americans have lost their moral compass, if indeed they ever had one. For the rest of us, those who recall what it means to be blessed with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is long past time to do what anchorman Howard Beale did in Network: throw open the windows to the street, lean our heads out, and shout I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!

What’s a bioethicist to do? The answer is, plenty.


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