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.
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
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
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
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (ccle)