Thursday, November 10, 2005

God’s Bioethics?

The Women’s Bioethics Project, a non-partisan, public policy think tank, announced today the release of a report detailing a concerted effort by conservative groups to dominate so-called “bioethical issues” surrounding emerging technologies. The report, titled “Bioethics and Public Policy: Conservative Dominance in the Current Landscape,” analyzes the involvement of both progressive and conservative bioethics centers, including traditional think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, as well as religious groups such as James Dobson’s Focus on the Family.

To date, the report says that only conservative groups have devoted substantial resources to pushing a broad bioethics agenda. Bioethical issues ranging from stem cell research to the Terri Schiavo case are the battlefield for defining the kind of world we want to create,” said Jonathan Moreno, bioethicist and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. “The Women’s Bioethics Project analysis is an important wake-up call to people who care about scientific progress and the ability to decide what is right for their own families. The time to engage in these issues is now.”

“The rapid advance of biotechnology is quickly outpacing our ability as a society to absorb the effect it will have on our lives,” said Kathryn Hinsch, founder of the Women’s Bioethics Project and author of the report,” The institutions we have relied on for guidance on difficult moral issues—whether organized religion, government, or the academy – have failed to keep pace with science or societal implications underlying these issues. Because of this confusion, disarray, and public policy flux, the opportunity to influence the direction of public opinion is up for grabs. Essentially, whoever gets there first will frame the debate on these issues and will affect us all for decades to come.”

Full details of the report can be found at


Stuart Rennie, Editor said...

Well-written, well-researched report that enhances understanding of the place of bioethics in America's 'culture war'. The references to both conservative and progressive bioethics organizations are really helpful.

Proud to have a blog partner that can turn out something like that!


Kevin T. Keith said...

I've read the report quickly; it is outstanding. This will be an excellent grounding reference for building a liberty-promoting, progressive bioethics agenda.

Thanks for doing this work; I hope it finds a wide audience.

Linda MacDonald Glenn said...

In the words of the late President John F. Kennedy, " "...liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies.
What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label 'Liberal?' If by 'Liberal' they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal."
But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a 'Liberal,' then I'm proud to say I'm a 'Liberal.'"