Bioethics


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Beauty and aesthetics Bioethics Comparative philosophy Cosmopolitanism Death Ethics History of ideas Knowledge Logic and probability Meaning and the good life Metaphysics Philosophy of language Philosophy of mind Philosophy of religion Philosophy of science Political philosophy Thinkers and theories Values and beliefs Virtues and vices

Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Bioethics
Boys and girls alike

An un-consenting child, an unnecessary, invasive surgery: is there any moral difference between male and female circumcision?

Brian D Earp

Lizzie #1. Photo © 2009 KevinHoran.com from the series Chattel

Essay/
Animals and humans
Eating someone

Farmed animals have personalities, smarts, even a sense of agency. Why then do we saddle them with lives of utter despair?

Lori Marino

Photo by Jagoda Matejczuk/Getty

Essay/
Animals and humans
Rats are us

They are sentient beings with rich emotional lives, yet we subject them to experimental cruelty without conscience. Why?

Kristin Andrews & Susana Monsó

Limousin sow, Dordogne de Neuvialle (two years old), and her piglet. Photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Getty
Essay/
Bioethics
The pig on your plate

That pigs are smart and sensitive is not in doubt. How can we justify continuing to kill them for food?

Barbara J King

Stanley Milgram and his 'shockbox'. Photo courtesy The Chronicle of Higher Education

Essay/
Bioethics
The psychology of torture

The Milgram experiments showed that anybody could be capable of torture when obeying an authority. Are they still valid?

Malcolm Harris

Police line-up, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, c. 1950 - 1965. Photo by Charles 'Teenie' Harris/Getty

Essay/
Knowledge
Framed by forensics

Junky, out-of-date science fuels jury errors and tragic miscarriages of justice. How can we throw it out of court?

Douglas Starr

'A strangely affecting parade'. Semipalmated sandpipers at Jamaica Bay, Long Island, NY. All photos by the author
Essay/
Bioethics
Being a sandpiper

Animals have thoughts, feelings and personality. Why have we taken so long to catch up with animal consciousness?

Brandon Keim

Cris Cristofaro holds his dog Dino as his beloved pet is sedated during an in-home euthanasia on 9 May 2012 in New York City. Photo by John Moore/Getty

Essay/
Ageing and death
Die like a dog

Pet dogs often have a peaceful death that forestalls protracted suffering and pain. Why can’t we do the same for humans?

Joseph Pierre

The Provincial Training School in Red Deer, Alberta, opened in October 1923 and was designated to be a residential institution for the training of people deemed ‘mentally defective’. Photo courtesy eugencisarchove.ca

Essay/
Bioethics
Eugenics never went away

Thought eugenics died with the Nazis? Think again: the eugenic programme of sterilising the ‘unfit’ continues even today

Robert A Wilson

Think about it. Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic
Essay/
Biology
The minds of other animals

Animal consciousness is taboo in many areas of biological science. What’s so hard about the inner lives of other species?

Antone Martinho-Truswell

A Sister of Charity at the New York Foundling Hospital in 1943. Photo by Nina Leen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty

Essay/
Anthropology
Infanticide

There is nothing so horrific as child murder, yet it’s ubiquitous in human history. What drives a parent to kill a baby?

Sandra Newman

A female humpback whale accompanied closely by her male calf, Toku Island, Tonga, South Pacific. Underneath her are two escort whales, both males, competing for attention. Photo Tony Wu

Essay/
Bioethics
Sound off

Human industry is now noisy enough to drown out whale songs. What would happen in the ocean if we went quiet?

Peter Brannen

In the mental asylum, France, circa 1900. Photo by Jean-Philippe Charbonnier/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

Essay/
Bioethics
In praise of defiance

Labelling someone crazy and difficult is a way to resist justice and change – and psychiatrists are complicit

Carrie Arnold

Photo by Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg via Getty

Essay/
Illness and disease
Chronic

For big pharma, the perfect patient is wealthy, permanently ill and a daily pill-popper. Will medicine ever recover?

Clayton Dalton

The Southern Ocean is one of the most inhospitable environments on earth. Photo by Doug Allan/Stone/Getty

Essay/
Bioethics
Engineering the ocean

Once you know what plankton can do, you’ll understand why fertilising the ocean with iron is not such a crazy idea

David Biello

Photo by Petr Josek/Reuters

Essay/
Bioethics
Dead enough

To honour donors, we should harvest organs that have the best chance of helping others – before, not after, death

Walter Glannon

Where the wild things are; a grizzly bear sleeps in Katmai National Park in Alaska, USA. Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic

Essay/
Bioethics
Earth is not a garden

Some of the world’s most powerful conservationists are giving up on wilderness. They are making a big mistake

Brandon Keim

US cyclist Tyler Hamilton rides with a broken collarbone in the 2003 Tour de France. Photo by Offside/Lequipe

Essay/
Bioethics
A doping manifesto

The rules on doping in sport are incoherent – should we change them to allow the right kind of performance enhancement?

Julian Savulescu