The Ethical And Bio-ethical Issues In Today’s Medicine: Bio-ethical Concerns Of Eugenics & Euthanasia.

MK_MedStaff_01.jpg14910380-dc8d-4779-bdf6-04271935c3e9Larger  The Ethical And Bio-ethical Issues In Today’s Medicine: Bio-ethical Concerns Of Eugenics & Euthanasia.—By Ahmed K. El-Shabazz

24, September 2013

I will keep them (patients) from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will make a suggestion to that effect….I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice.”—Greek Physician , Hippocrates 400 B.C.

Medical Ethics and Bio-ethics is rooted in the moral teachings founded in the Religious, Mythical, and Judicial frame works of ancient civilizations. The above quote is apart of the Hippocratic Oath, written over 2,400 years ago by the so-called “Father of Medicine” (Western Medicine) Hippocrates a Greek Physician. History has examples of much earlier codes of Medical Ethics, such as, the Hammurabi Codes, written in 1,800 B.C. We also find Medical Ethics codes in the writings of the African Physician Imhotep of Egypt (Kemet) who lived 2,200 years before Hippocrates. In fact the early Greek Physicians, Hippocrates included, worshiped Imhotep as the “Son of Apollo , the great Physician of Gods and Men”.

History also shows us today, that Medical Ethics has been an important part of medicine since antiquity. Man has learned that “Ethics” is more that just “Common Sense” , that it is a matter of Moral Conduct of Civilized Men and Women, whose use of Medical Science must determine weather or not their actions are for the good of all society. Advanced medical technology has posed great problems in Medical Ethics, giving raise to a fairly new field of Ethics taking center stage, the field of “Bio-ethics”.

What is Bio-ethics?

We know that “Ethics” is a branch of Philosophy that relates to the morals and moral principles. So, Bio-ethics is the study of the Ethical and Moral dilemmas and issues of advanced medicine and medical research. This field of study as become on of the major issues of the 21st Century. The fight over “GMOs” , (Genetically Modified Foods) being just one of many issues, as an example, as Corporate and Political Interest have become intertwined with the Medical Profession.

Eugenics

For modern civilization the science of Eugenics is fairly new, going back to the late 1800’s. Eugenics is defined as ” The science that studies methods for controlling certain characteristics in offspring”. Eugenics by definition poses many questions concerning Bio-ethics, namely, ” Should man play God”? Eugenics is really a social philosophy to promote improvement of  Human Hereditary. The word “Eugenics was first used by Sir Francis Galton in 1883. Etymologically speaking, the word comes from the Greek words “Eu” (Good) and “Genes” (Born). This social philosophy would later give raise to the Nazi Party of Germany, where Eugenics was used to rationalize the actions of the Holocaust against the Jews, Blacks, mentally ill, and anyone else that did not fit the Nazi’s vision of ” A Master Race”. This Scientific Racism called Eugenics was a medical ethical nightmare, as Doctors under Hitler, using selective breeding, birth control and early forms of genetic engineering tried their hands at producing a Race of “Super White Men”. In fact, a Eugenics Movement was started before Mr. Adolf Hitler, and some of the leading Persons of the early 20th Century believed in forced sterilization and the whole-sale murder of people deemed “genetically defective”. We find such prominent people as H. G. Kellogg, George Bernard Shaw, and Margaret Sanger (Founder Of Planned Parenthood), Alexander Graham Bell, just to name a few. There were also Three (3) International Eugenics Conferences held, 1912 in London, 1921 and 1932 in New York to enforce “racial hygiene experimentation, and extermination” of undesired populations, namely the Black, Brown, and Yellow nations, as well as, the mentally ill and handicap. This is clearly un-ethical and any doctor involved broke and is breaking the Hippocratic Oath of Medical Conduct!! 

Eugenics is still with us today in the 21st Century , though not in such an overt way. One example being “Gene Therapy” or the re-placement of a defective gene. Such science in the hands of the Un-ethical Corporations could and will give raise to “designer babies”, just imagine the profits to made by such a “Product”.

Euthanasia 

Another bio-ethical issue is Euthanasia, which administration of a lethal agent by a person to a patient to relieve them of suffering, called “The Good Death”. This issue is a real problem in the medical ethics field, as it poses the question, “Who has the right to live and who decides?”. Euthanasia was intertwined with Eugenics when, here in America and England, laws were passed  in the early 20th century to use euthanasia on “mentally defective” and disable children called “Mercy Killings”. Hitler later used American and England’s use of euthanasia to justify the murder of mentally retarded and physically deformed, that is to say, “Those unworthy of life.” In recent times, during the 1990’s euthanasia again came to the center stage due to the actions of “Dr. Death”, a.k.a. Jack Kervorkian, a Pathologist assisted in the “suicide” of over 100 terminally ill people. A great debate arose over weather or not it was medically ethical for a Doctor or any Medical Professional to assist in the death of the terminally ill. Does a Person have “a right to die?” is the question. Since most religions frown upon suicide, this further complicates matters. Remember the Hippocratic Oath earlier?

As medical science advances, those who are terminally ill today may be made whole tomorrow. And should not that be the true goal of medical science, to heal and not kill? Modern Man MUST apply his knowledge of Ethics to Medical Science NOW, more that ever before! History has shown what happens when UN-ethical Corporations and Political powers get their hands on advanced knowledge. As the ongoing debates on cloning, embryo harvesting, and bio-warfare rage, modern medicine had better re-think and re-apply the “Hippocratic Oath” and the Other tried and true Ethical Codes of conduct, or risk the whole-sale destruction of Humanity in “the name of science and profits”.skulls_dees

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2 Responses to “The Ethical And Bio-ethical Issues In Today’s Medicine: Bio-ethical Concerns Of Eugenics & Euthanasia.”

  1. Evidently, this has become the “natural” progression of man. The relationship I have with my physician is quite disconnected, but nevertheless, I have some confidence in his inherent good sense. The two medical issues you bring up here are also a bit disconnected. Man does grasp in futile behaviors to control this progression. But as in all things, even science must be set aside for the welfare and betterment of all beings. We must not judge, as this is only for our Creator. To end suffering seems also inherent in the whole idea of healing in the first place. What the Nazis did and Hitler hardly bears remark. The world is quickly waking up and no more will it be so easy to herd us like slaves blind to an evil almost too far-reaching to imagine… in this modern world, no child should ever go hungry, for it is within our power to make these changes. A very interesting and compelling post.

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