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To the Editor: Paul Lauritzen (HCR, Mar-Apt 2005) is certainly right in urging us to move toward an "expansive view of technology" in order to escape the "narrowly focused ... repetitive and rigid" quality of much existing debate over stem cell research. Yet Lauritzen's otherwise insightful essay still betrays some narrowness, both in its assertion that the broader perspective on such biomedical technologies is merely "beginning to emerge," and in its assumption that our ethical commitments--grounded as they are in the notion of "natural human life"--are not subject to productive critique and reformulation. Had he followed his own advice and moved beyond what he calls the typical flame of bioethics to consider the "cultural space that art provides for moral reflection on social issues posed by definitions of nature," he would have discovered that the history of popular debate over the social and moral impact of biogenetic research and therapy is a long and rich one. As Squier has explored in Babies in Bottles (1994) and Liminal Lives (2004), the question of the implications of a wide variety of biomedical interventions into the human lifespan has engaged novelists, playwrights, journalists, and embryologist-poets, as well as zoologists, geneticists, crystallographers, philosophers, and physicians, since the early twentieth century.

GENRE
Science & Nature
RELEASED
2005
November 1
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
10
Pages
PUBLISHER
Hastings Center
SELLER
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.
SIZE
177.4
KB

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