Many bioethicists yearn to be part of the emerging technocracy, and want practioniers in the field to become arbiters of policy in areas far beyond healthcare. So they huff and puff to find ways to imperialistically make what they do seem generally relevant across the depth and breadth of public policy discourse.
Latest example: Global warming hysteria. How, pray tell, is global warming hysteria (accepted as a fact in the article quoted below, despite a 15-year pause) a bioethics issue? Why, bioethicists can help forge policies that reduce carbon dioxide! From, “Climate Change is a Bioethics Problem,” by Cheryl Cox Macpherson, published in Bioethics:
The nature and history of bioethics is such that it has a responsibility to offer analyses of the burdens and benefits of emissions producing activities; utility and distributive justice of a given intervention; and procedural justice regarding the assignment of related responsibilities…
Policies and health systems that expand access to healthy choices reduce emissions, improve health, and promote autonomy. The successful design and implementation of policies that accomplish this requires multisectoral and multidisciplinary collaborations. Whether political and financial commitment is made to such work depends largely on ethics, societal and individual values, and the contexts in which the work is needed.
Which, of course, we can’t do without them!
Climate change harms health everywhere and allowing it to worsen is a choice involving values and responsibilities. Bioethics has a responsibility to promote transparency and understanding about the actions and policies that allow climate change to worsen, and to explore the associated values and conflicts.
Bioethical and multidisciplinary analyses would enhance understanding about the utility and justice of emissions producing activities and mitigation strategies; elucidate the values at stake and inform protective responses pertinent to cultural, geographic, and other circumstances. Morality pervades choices about how to minimize and rectify the damages, and the quality and quantity of environmental resources we leave to our children and grandchildren. New conceptions of moral responsibility and virtue might help resolve some of the dilemmas about these choices.
Eyes rolling so far back in my head I can see my brain!
Cutting through the academese, this is just liberal politics–written in the gobbledygook of bioethics discourse:
Values and virtues traditionally center on places, things, and activities that societies have cherished for centuries. These are largely being displaced by goods that offer immediate gratification like inexpensive clothes, airfares, foods, and electronics. Today the extent to which individuals purchase and own such things reflects their identity and how others perceive them, and affects their health and the health of others. Bioethics is concerned with objectivity, fairness, morality, responsibility, health, and wellbeing. Allowing climate change to continue unabated is a bioethics problem.
Here we see a vivid example of the consequences that flow from”publish or perish” in academia. Sometimes it is better to perish.