Monday, September 05, 2005

Bioethics and Katrina

A well known bioethicist and supporter of the WBP, Jonathan Moreno writes a provocative essay entitled "In the Wake of Katrina: Has 'Bioethics' Failed?" , taking aim at the failure of bioethics to tackle issues of distributive justice and public health. I have to agree, what has happened with the response (or lack of) to Katrina, has provided a sobering wake-up call; as I had written in a previous article, I find that it is one of the more enobling aspects of being a bioethicist and an attorney to be a nurturing caregiver, protector of life and liberty, guardian of the weak and fragile, and steward of the earth and all its inhabitants. We need to set aside our egos (academic, legal, or otherwise) and ask "How can I serve?"

Addendum (posted Sept 6) - And please let's not forget about our companion animals -- the dogs and cats that have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina -- donate now at Humane Society of the United States.


marin gillis said...

Today on the Feminist Ethics and Social Theory (FEAST) listerv. Dr. Laurie Zoloth asks us to consider the "visibly clear" gender implications of the disaster. To be sure, much has been said (and should be said) about race, class, and disability but Zoloth asks us to remember that "the majority of nursing home residents, where death tolls are feared to be dreadful, are women, and it did seem that majority of the "refugees" are women and children...NO [New Orleans]was compared in one report to the Titanic, with the entire 9th Ward being steerage, but unlike the usual triage of "women and children first" it seemed like women and children were particularly affected." She too asks bioethicists concerned with women's issues to engage not only in theory, but praxis.

Thanks Linda for reminding us that human suffering should not be just academic.

Linda MacDonald Glenn said...

Not to mention the suffering of the animals left behind...