Biomedical and Environmental Ethics Alliance: Common Causes and Grounds
In the late 1960s Van Rensselaer Potter, a biochemist and cancer researcher, thought that our survival was threatened by the domination of military policy makers and producers of material goods ignorant of biology. He called for a new field of Bioethics—“a science of survival.” Bioethics did develop, but with a narrower focus on medical ethics. Recently there have been attempts to broaden that focus to bring biomedical ethics together with environmental ethics. Though the two have many differences—in habits of thought, scope of concern, and value commitments—in this paper we argue that they often share common cause and we identify common ground through an examination of two case studies, one addressing drug development, the other food production.
KeywordsEnvironmental and biomedical ethics Factory farming Sustainability Taxol
The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees for comments, and Dale Jamieson for illuminating discussions of the concerns of this paper.
- Bittman, M. 2008. Rethinking the meat-guzzler. New York Times. January 27, 2008.Google Scholar
- Callicott, J. Baird. 1980. Animal liberation: A triangular affair. Environmental Ethics 2: 311–338.Google Scholar
- Callicott, J. Baird. 1994. Preface to animal liberation: A triangular affair. In Environmental ethics, ed. R. Elliot. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Carson, R. 1962. Silent spring. Boston: Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Carvajal, D., and S. Castle. 2009. A U.S. hog giant transforms Eastern Europe. New York Times. May 5, 2009.Google Scholar
- Flannery, T. 2009. Now or never. Jackson: Grove Atlantic.Google Scholar
- Gardiner, S.M. (2010) Is ‘arming the future’ with geoengineering really the lesser evil? Some doubts about the ethics of intentionally manipulating the climate system. In Climate ethics, ed. S.M. Gardiner, S. Caney, D. Jamieson, and H. Shue. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.Google Scholar
- Gordon, J. and V. Walsh. 2001. The story of Taxol. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Harrison, R. 1964. Animal machines. London: Vincent Stuart Publishers, Ltd.Google Scholar
- Jamieson, D. 2003. Morality’s progress. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Pierce, J. and A. Jameton. 2004. The ethics of environmentally responsible health care. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Plumwood, V. 1993. Feminism and the mastery of nature. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Potter, V.R. 1971. Bioethics: A bridge to the future. New York: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Sagoff, M. 1984. Animal liberation and environmental ethics: Bad marriage, quick divorce. Osgood Hall Law Journal 22: 297–307.Google Scholar
- Smith, G.J.D. et al. 2009. Origins and evolutionary genomics of the 2009 swine-origin H1N1 influenza A epidemic. Nature Published online 11 June 2009.Google Scholar
- Steinfeld, H. et al. 2006. Livestock’s long shadow: Environmental issues and options. FAO. Available: http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM.
- Taylor, P. 1986. Respect for nature: A theory of environmental ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar