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Archive for the ‘ethics’ category

Apr 1, 2020

In Crowded Hospitals, Who Will Get Life-Saving Equipment?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, health

As health care workers prepare for surges of Covid-19 patients, they must grapple with the ethics of rationing critical medical gear.

Mar 22, 2020

Elon Musk: Should Have 1000 Ventilators Next Week, + 250,000 N95 Masks For Hospitals Tomorrow Exclusive

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, Elon Musk, ethics, health, policy, space travel, sustainability

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an American oncologist and bioethicist who is senior fellow at the Center for American Progress as well as Vice Provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, said on MSNBC on Friday, March 20, that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told him it would probably take 8–10 weeks to get ventilator production started at his factories (he’s working on this at Tesla and SpaceX).

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Mar 19, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions on the Ethics of Lifespan and Healthspan Extension

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, life extension, policy

The mission of healthy life extension, or healthy longevity promotion, raises a broad variety of questions and tasks, relating to science and technology, individual and communal ethics, and public policy, especially health and science policy. Despite the wide variety, the related questions may be classified into three groups. The first group of questions concerns the feasibility of the accomplishment of life extension. Is it theoretically and technologically possible? What are our grounds for optimism? What are the means to ensure that the life extension will be healthy life extension? The second group concerns the desirability of the accomplishment of life extension for the individual and the society, provided it will become some day possible through scientific intervention.

How will then life extension affect the perception of personhood? How will it affect the availability of resources for the population? Yet, the third and final group can be termed normative. What actions should we take? Assuming that life extension is scientifically possible and socially desirable, and that its implications are either demonstrably positive or, in case of a negative forecast, they are amenable – what practical implications should these determinations have for public policy, in particular health policy and research policy, in a democratic society? Should we pursue the goal of life extension? If yes, then how? How can we make it an individual and social priority? Given the rapid population aging and the increasing incidence and burden of age-related diseases, on the pessimistic side, and the rapid development of medical technologies, on the optimistic side, these become vital questions of social responsibility. And indeed, these questions are often asked by almost any person thinking about the possibility of human life extension, its meaning for oneself, for the people in one’s close circle, for the entire global community. Many of these questions are rather standard, and the answers to them are also often quite standard. Below some of those frequently asked questions and frequently given answers are given, with specific reference to the possibility and desirability of healthy human life extension, and the normative actions that can be undertaken, by the individual and the society, to achieve this goal.

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Mar 10, 2020

Wait, What? The First Human-Monkey Hybrid Embryo Was Just Created in China

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics

The news did not sit well with Chinese scientists, who are still recovering from the CRISPR baby scandal. “It makes you wonder, if their reason for choosing to do this in a Chinese laboratory is because of our high-tech experimental setups, or because of loopholes in our laws?” lamented one anonymous commentator on China’s popular social media app, WeChat.

Their frustration is understandable. Earlier in April, a team from southern China came under international fire for sticking extra copies of human “intelligence-related” genes into macaque monkeys. And despite efforts to revamp its reputation in biomedical research ethics, China does have slacker rules in primate research compared to Western countries.

If you’re feeling icked out, you’re not alone. The morality and ethics of growing human-animal hybrids are far from clear. But creepiness aside, scientists do have two reasons for wading into these uncomfortable waters.

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Mar 4, 2020

China speeds up clinical trials for Covid-19 cure

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics

WUHAN (China Daily/ANN): With the public eagerly anticipating effective drugs to cure the novel coronavirus pneumonia, a medical ethics committee at the forefront of fighting the outbreak in Wuhan has quickened the pace of approving clinical trials.

Several programmes related to the diagnosis and treatment of the disease have gained ethical approval from Huazhong University of Science and Technology and are being carried out by the university, including two drugs that are under clinical trials, said Chen Jianguo, vice-president of the university.

The two drugs are remdesivir, a drug being developed by US-based pharmaceutical company Gilead, and chloroquine phosphate, which is available on the market to treat malaria.

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Mar 3, 2020

Artificial intelligence and its ethics | DW Documentary

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, robotics/AI, space travel, surveillance

AI/Humans, our brave now world, happening now.


Are we facing a golden digital age or will robots soon run the world? We need to establish ethical standards in dealing with artificial intelligence — and to answer the question: What still makes us as human beings unique?

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Feb 29, 2020

Pope to endorse principles on AI ethics with Microsoft, IBM

Posted by in categories: business, ethics, robotics/AI

Feb 28 (Reuters) — Vatican officials on Friday planned to release principles promoting the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI), with the backing of Microsoft Corp and International Business Machines Corp as the first two technology industry sponsors.

The “Rome Call for AI Ethics” asserts that the technology should respect privacy, work reliably and without bias, consider “the needs of all human beings” and operate transparently — an area of ongoing research because AI systems’ decisions are often inscrutable.

The document reflects growing interest among companies and institutions to set guardrails for the fast-evolving technology. Police have used facial recognition systems to investigate crimes, and Fortune 500 companies have used AI to vet job applicants — both examples of high-stakes tasks where deploying inaccurate or biased software could lead to harm.

Feb 29, 2020

Survivors From The MK Ultra Program Come Together To Sue The Federal Government

Posted by in categories: ethics, government, neuroscience

According to this CTV News article, survivors and families of an MK Ultra brainwashing program run by Dr. Ewen Cameron at McGill University in Montreal in the 1950s and 1960s have banded together to bring the horrors of this program more fully into the public eye.

They are planning a class action lawsuit against the provincial and federal government, an initiative which lawyer Alan Stein feels optimistic about:

“I believe we can claim moral damages as a result of the experiments when Dr. Cameron used these people as guinea pigs.”—lawyer Alan Stein

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Feb 28, 2020

Should we edit our DNA? An imagined future of gene editing – video

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics

There are decisions being made right now that could have an effect on global populations for generations to come. As part of this project, we commissioned an artist to investigate some of the themes raised in the podcasts. This work of fiction imagines a future where gene editing has become mainstream and discusses the moral, ethical and political divides that this might create.

Feb 22, 2020

Do robots have rights? Professor David J. Gunkel interview

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI, transhumanism

I recently interviewed Professor David J. Gunkel, an expert in robot ethics at Northern Illinois University about the future of AI and the transhumanist movement. If this is your thing please do subscribe to the channel — lots more coming up smile


I interview Professor David J. Gunkel (@David_Gunkel), an expert in AI and robot ethnics at Northern Illinois University and author of ‘The Machine Question: Critical Perspectives on AI, Robots, and Ethics’. We discuss whether robots should have rights, if human and artificial intelligence are likely to merge and whether the transhumanist movement could become a serious political force. Hope you enjoy!

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