Bioethics Blogs

Why does bioethics matter?

In our day and age, when we are bombarded by more issues we can legitimately process on a personal, local, and global scale, it is not that surprising that bioethical challenges are by and large ignored by the majority of us in everyday life. Mention the word “bioethics” to someone and you’re likely to get a blank stare. Why concern ourselves over the morality of bioethical questions unless they directly impact us? We can leave those topics to the few philosophers, ethicists, and theologians who seem to care.

Unfortunately, ignoring today’s bioethical challenges is not a viable option, which I recognize may be a statement preaching to the choir. How do we, then, communicate its importance to a world bombarded with challenges? Specifically, there are three broad reasons why bioethics should matter to us. Communicating these reasons may help remove that blank look in the eyes of others.

Bioethics matters because worldviews matter

“Worldview” is an often overused word, but the reality it conveys is essential to bioethics. One’s view of the world, the way they interpret reality and its purpose, will directly relate to how one sees, processes, and responds to bioethical issues. For example, what do you believe about God? Is he good or evil; does he exist or not exist; is he one or many; did he create the physical world or is it an illusion? What we believe about questions such as these, our worldview, will directly impact what we think and believe about issues such as abortion, chemical weapons, health care, and human-enhancing drugs.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.