Bioethics or Biopolitics?
CCLE commentary March 4, 2004

The CCLE submitted these comments to the Government Reform Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, which is currently assessing the treatment of science and scientists by the Bush Administration.

President Bush's decision to dismiss two scientists from his Council on Bioethics, and replace them with conservatives who will toe the party line, makes plain that the Council is more about biopolitics than bioethics.

The Council was ostensibly created to advise the president on "bioethical issues that may emerge as a consequence of advances in biomedical science and technology." Yet, in truth, it operates with an ideological agenda that views biomedical science and technology much like the Church saw Galileo's telescope.

By stacking the Council, President Bush plays a dangerous game of politics with the science and technology of tomorrow. We cannot hope to understand the complex array of ethical challenges and opportunities presented by new scientific developments if we examine them only from a single ideological viewpoint.

Bioethics should aim to reduce blind spots as much as possible, something that is incompatible with blacking out alternative perspectives and returning to the Dark Ages.

-- Richard Glen Boire
Co-Director / Legal Counsel
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (ccle)