Bioethics Lecture

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Biotech Final Review

what is ethics?

principles that define behavior as right, good, and proper

how a moral person should behave

what are values?

inner factors and judgments that determine how a person actually behaves

how are values related to ethics?

values are related to ethics only when they pertain to beliefs about what is right and wrong

what are the three models for ethical decision making?

1. virtue model
2. duty model
3. consequentialist model

what makes up the virtue model?

the "golden rule"
concerns for others
treating others better than they treat you

what is the difficulty with the virtue model?

how do we decide whose concern is more important?

ex: right to life vs. abortion

what makes up duty model?

ethical decisions made based on established rules that may address rights and character
no exceptions, no excuses

what is the difficult with the duty model?

not possible to have a rule for EVERY single situation that can arise that requires an ethical decision

what makes up the consequentialist model?

principle of utility: decisions are made based on the outcome
the need for many outweighs the need for a few

what is the difficulty with consequentialist model?

we can not always predict the outcome of our decisions

what was the nuremburg doctors trial of 1946?

nazi regime exploited human beings--> forcing them to participate in research without consent

resulted in the nuremberg code

what is the nuremberg code say?

informed consent is essential
research should be based on prior animal work
the risks should be justified by the anticipated benefits
only qualified scientists must conduct research
physical and mental suffering must be avoided
research in which death or disabling injury is expected should not be conducted

what were the thalidomide studies?

thalidomide was never approved by the FDA but doctors received samples and started giving them to the patients. this results in teratogenic fetuses for pregnant women taking the medication at that time

what resulted from the thalidomide studies?

Food, drug, and cosmetic act of 1962

this was the first statute that required subjects to be informed of a drug's experimental nature and to provide consent before beginning a research study

what was the tuskegee study?

study done to examine effects of untreated syphilis in African- American males; penicillin was withheld from them

what did the tuskegee study lead to?

led to the national research act of 1974 (requiring regulatory protection for human subjects) and also led to the creation of the National Commission for the protection of human subjects of biomedical and behavioral research

what did the national commission for the protection of human subjects of biomedical and behavioral research write?

belmont report of 1979

what were the three basic ethical principles of the belmont report?

1. respect for persons
2. beneficence
3. justice

what were the five basic principles of informed consent?


define beneficence

duty or obligation to benefit and to NOT cause harm

define autonomy

duty or obligation to promote self-determination of others

define justice

duty or obligation to allocate social burden and benefits fairly among all people

define universality

duty or obligation to perform only those acts that you would be willing for anyone else to perform on you under similar circumstances

define rationality

duty or obligation to do only those acts which can be reasoned and justified

two expectations of animal research

1. research findings will be meaningful and substantial
2. suffering of animals will be minimal

reproductive cloning is

creating genetically identical organisms

what do clonaids claim?

that they have the ability to clone humans

what is therapeutic cloning?

cloning individual human cells using stem cells

why is therapeutic cloning done?

to enhance our understanding of human development and serious medical conditions

what is pre-implantation genetic diagnosis for?

helps diagnose inherited genetic disorders in vitro

what are transgenic plants/animals?

engineered plants/animals that contain novel genes from other species--> resulting in new characteristics that make them more desirable and useful to humans

what is xenotransplantation?

harvesting organs from animals for organ transplantation into humans

what is ghostwriting?

paid to write a paper under someone else's name(s), or allows his/her name to appear as the author without making significant contributions

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