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Becoming Mrs. Feminist Philosophy Feminist Approaches to Philosophy. Feminist Approaches to Philosophy. Social and Political Philosophy Ethics. Millum, Joseph, and Emanuel, Ezekiel, eds. Global Justice and Bioethics. New York: Oxford University Press, Disability Aesthetics and Culture. The price of perfection: Individualism and society in the era of biomedical enhancement, by Maxwell J.

Thinking about the good: Reconfiguring liberal metaphysics or not for people with cognitive disabilities with Leslie Pickering Francis. No talent? Beyond the worst off! Proponents of using medical technology for enhancement sometimes misunderstand how the biology of enhancement works.

Medical Ethics | Parkland College Bookstore

Appreciation of biological diversity supports a program of enhancement. Doing so also suggests changes in emphasis to strengthen the case for enhancement. Biomedical Ethics, Miscellaneous. The individual rights of the difficult patient with Roy R.

Reeves, Sharon P. Douglas, Rosa T.

Garner, and Marti D. To some students with disabilities who take philosophy classes, and even to some professors with disabilities who teach philosophy, the discipline is not welcoming. Philosophical theory traditionally recognizes so-called normal people and common modes of functioning but seems to ignore or disparage biologically anomalous individuals.

The adequacy of our epistemological and ethical philosophies is a pressing reason for us to acknowledge disability in philosophical theorizing.

Maxwell J. Mehlman at Mercyhurst College, 10.21.10

And there are equall… Read more To some students with disabilities who take philosophy classes, and even to some professors with disabilities who teach philosophy, the discipline is not welcoming. And there are equally pressing reasons to acknowledge that students with various kinds of disabilities are members of our classes. In this special issue of Teaching Philosophy the authors reflect on how disability is engaged with in their philosophy classrooms for and by their students, and in the philosophy they teach.

Philosophy of Education. This article argues that, under existing jurisprudence, the disability insurance business will be harmed, not benefited, from broad access to the results of genetic testing identifying people with higher than species-typical genetic propensities for illness. Genetic Testing Disability. Examines the key ethical issues and debates which have resulted from the rapid advances in biomedical technology Brings together the leading scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, medicine, theology and law, to discuss these issues Tackles such topics as ending life, patient choice, selling body parts, resourcing and confidentiality Organized with a coherent structure that differentiates between the decisions of individuals and those of social policy.

Ethics Medical Ethics. In William J. Morgan ed. Social Ethics Disability. Liberalism and individually scripted ideas of the good: Meeting the challenge of dependent agency with Leslie Pickering Francis. Genetic Testing. Feminism and Disability with Joel Michael Reynolds.

Max Mehlman: “The Price of Perfection” (Johns Hopkins)

In Carol Hay ed. In any case, the same thing happens whenever an advance takes place that improves performance. Well, not exactly. You see, many biomedical enhancements are perfectly permissible, including dietary supplements, sports psychology, carbohydrate loading, electrolyte-containing beverages, and sleeping at altitude or in artificial environments that simulate it. In the end, they are just arbitrary distinctions.

Lots of rules in sports are arbitrary, like how many players are on a team or how far the boundary lines stretch. The problem comes when the opponents of enhancement use in sports try to impose their arbitrary dislikes on the wider world.


We already have observed how intrusive and expensive this would be. Beyond that, there are strong constitutional objections to using the power of the law to enforce arbitrary rules. But most important, a ban on the use of enhancements outside of sports would sacrifice an enormous amount of societal benefit. Why not let medical researchers take cognitive enhancers if it would lead to faster cures, or let workers take them to be more productive? Why stop soldiers from achieving greater combat effectiveness, rescue workers from lifting heavier objects, and men and women from leading better sex lives?

Competent adults who want to use enhancements should be permitted to. In some instances, such as in combat or when performing dangerous jobs, they should even be required to. The government has several crucial roles to play in helping to ensure that the benefits from enhancement use outweigh the costs.

In the first place, the government needs to protect people who are incapable of making rational decisions about whether to use enhancements.

One such group, of course, is people with severe mental disabilities. The law requires surrogates to make decisions for these individuals based on what is in their best interests. Another vulnerable population is children. There can be little disagreement that kids should not be allowed to decide on their own to consume powerful, potentially dangerous enhancement substances.

Not only do they lack decisionmaking capacity, but they may be much more susceptible than adults to harm. This is clearly the case with steroids, which can interfere with bone growth in children and adolescents. The more difficult question is whether parents should be free to give enhancements to their children.

Parents face powerful social pressures to help their children excel. There are many stories of parents who allow their adolescent daughters to have cosmetic surgery, including breast augmentation. In general, the law gives parents considerable discretion in determining how to raise their children.

The basic legal constraint on parental discretion is the prohibition in state law against abuse or neglect, and this generally is interpreted to defer to parental decisionmaking so long as the child does not suffer serious net harm. There are no reported instances in which parents have been sanctioned for giving their children biomedical enhancements, and the authorities might conclude that the benefits conferred by the use of an enhancement outweighed even a fairly significant risk of injury.

Beyond the actions of parents, there remains the question of whether some biomedical enhancements are so benign that children should be allowed to purchase them themselves. At present, for instance, there is no law in the United States against children purchasing coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, and even high-caffeine—containing energy drinks. Laws prohibiting children from buying energy drinks have been enacted in some other countries.

At the same time, it may be a mistake to lump youngsters together with older adolescents into one category of children. Older adolescents, although still under the legal age of majority, have greater cognitive and judgmental capacities than younger children. Older adolescents similarly may deserve some degree of latitude in making decisions about using biomedical enhancements. Children may be vulnerable to pressure to use enhancements not only from their parents, but from their educators.

Under programs such as No Child Left Behind, public school teachers and administrators are rewarded and punished based on student performance on standardized tests. Private schools compete with one another in terms of where their graduates are accepted for further education.

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There is also intense competition in school athletics, especially at the collegiate level. Students in these environments may be bull-dozed into using enhancements to increase their academic and athletic abilities. Beyond students, athletes in general are vulnerable to pressure from coaches, sponsors, family, and teammates to use hazardous enhancements. Another group that could be vulnerable to coercion is workers.

Employers might condition employment or promotion on the use of enhancements that increased productivity. For example, an employer might require its nighttime work force to take the alertness drug modafinil, which is now approved for use by sleep-deprived swing-shift workers.

Current labor law does not clearly forbid this so long as the drug is relatively safe. Members of the military may also be forced to use enhancements. The military now conducts the largest known biomedical enhancement research project. Under battlefield conditions, superiors may order the use of enhancements, leaving soldiers no lawful option to refuse. A notorious example is the use of amphetamines by combat pilots.

Technically, the pilots are required to give their consent to the use of the pep pills, but if they refuse, they are barred from flying the missions. The ability of government regulation to protect vulnerable groups varies depending on the group. It is important that educators not be allowed to give students dangerous enhancements without parental permission and that parents not be pressured into making unreasonable decisions by fearful, overzealous, or inadequate educators.

The law can mandate the former, but not easily prevent the latter.

The Price of Perfection: Individualism and Society in the Era of Biomedical Enhancement (review)

Coaches and trainers who cause injury to athletes by giving them dangerous enhancements or by unduly encouraging their use should be subject to criminal and civil liability. The same goes for employers. But the realities of military life make it extremely difficult to protect soldiers from the orders of their superiors.

A misguided view