Policy ForumBioethics

Is Biomedical Research Too Dangerous to Pursue?

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Science  20 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5661, pp. 1142
DOI: 10.1126/science.1095698

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Biomedical research has come under sustained ethical attack in recent years. Critics argue that the continued advance of biomedicine will inevitably change human nature, lead to the commodification and objectification of human beings, and rob us of meaningful lives. Although presented with great verve, these worries are not persuasive to the author of this Policy Forum. Given the stakes involved (i.e., the lost opportunities for development of cures, palliation, and the prevention of disability) better arguments must be forthcoming in order to justify slowing or stopping biomedical research.