Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Ethics Evolve with Technology"

Read article here
There is an article in the New York Times Magazine this week discussing an aspect of abortion I find strange. I am not naive. I know many (pick your word) babies fetuses are aborted for selfish reasons, right down to gender selection.

The central point of the article, "The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy," might be reduced to one key point in an early paragraph:
For all its successes, reproductive medicine has produced a paradox: in creating life where none seemed possible, doctors often generate more fetuses than they intend. In the mid-1980s, they devised an escape hatch to deal with these megapregnancies, terminating all but two or three fetuses to lower the risks to women and the babies they took home. But what began as an intervention for extreme medical circumstances has quietly become an option for women carrying twins. 
It is the final sentence in that paragraph that bears emphasis:
But what began as an intervention for extreme medical circumstances has quietly become an option for women carrying twins.
I find the concept Orwellian. Setting aside the moral/ethical concept -- the idea that life comes from and belongs to God -- the attitudes expressed in this article speak to the same hubris that have unleashed unintended consequences upon the world. I think we (of this generation) have no idea how mutant society will become in the next 100-200 years. 

After all, as a physician who pioneered the procedure is quoted in the article, "Ethics evolve with technology."
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