Sunday, December 09, 2007

You Know You’re a Bioethicist When....

Along the lines of Jeff Foxworthy, Chicago bioethicist Timothy Murphy gave me permission to reprint this funny take on our profession :

You Know You’re a Bioethicist when:

*As you exercise on the treadmill, you wonder about the ethical, legal, and social effects of prolonging your own life.

*You meet an acquaintance in the supermarket. She asks after your mother who is in the hospital. You phrase your answer so as not to violate HIPAA standards.

*At a university banquet in your honor, you ask if the chicken has been genetically modified or been given genetically modified feed.

*The waiter at your local restaurant describes the fish of the day but forgets to mention that the recipe contains chervil. You decry the restaurant’s failure of informed consent.

*Your teenage daughter wants angel wing tattoos on her shoulder blades. Your teenage son wants scarified rings on his back. You suggest that they consider whether rule-utilitarianism, act utilitarianism, or preference utilitarianism will help them make better decisions about body modification.

*You see a pregnant neighbor and ask whether her child will be a boy, a girl, or a clone.

*A reporter calls to ask you about a breaking case you know nothing about, but you nevertheless express an opinion.

*Your spouse asks why you were later coming home last night than anticipated. You advise that you’ll have to get an ethics consultation before making any further statements.

*When arrested for driving under the influence, you breathe a sigh of relief that federal regulations prohibit most experimentation on prisoners.

*Someone at the White House asks you to serve on the President’s Council on Bioethics. You protest that you have no qualifications as a bioethicist. The President appoints you anyway.

Timothy F. Murphy
Chicago, November 2007


Kelly Hills said...

Okay, we're not going to talk about how close to home some of those hit...

SabrinaW said...

Hah hah! That is terrific! We should start a bioethicist web comic.

Kelly Hills said...

Sabrina - you have no idea how many times I've been sitting in my office/in meetings thinking "...if only I knew an artist..." (Sadly, seriously)