Questions on papers on biotechnology
- The paper by Judy Wajcman:
- Do you agree that biomedical
technologies allow some groups of people exercise control over others
(based on class, gender, race, income level, etc.)?
- What would be examples of such control (if any)? You may use
examples from the paper and other examples. If you think that there is
no such control, please address examples in the paper and explain why
- What could be done to limit
such control (if it exists) or what current provisions are in place to
prevent one group's control over others?
- The paper by David Shenk:
- Do you see some capabilities of
biomedical technology (in-vitro fertilization, pre-natal testing,
selection of gender/genetic makeup, etc.) as ethically inacceptable?
Do you see some of them as acceptable?
Where would you draw the line?
- What would you propose to prevent unethical practices? Be
- Is such legislation likely to succeed?
- The paper by Judy Wajcman claims that technology develops in a
certain social context (see example with birth control pill that,
according to the author, needed not just the right technical stage,
but also the right social stage to appear). David Shenk seems to agree
with a position "if it can be done, it will be done"
(i.e. if there are technological capabilities, the technology will be
adopted, regardless of social context).
- Compare points of view of both authors. What are practical
implications of each point of view? In other words, would a person act
differently, depending on each of these points of view he/she shares?
- Which point of view do you agree with? Different group members
may have different points of view.
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