© 2001

Ethics, Medical Research, and Medicine

Commercialism versus Environmentalism and Social Justice

  • Andrew Thompson
  • Norman J. Temple

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Andrew Thompson
    Pages 1-8
  3. Andrew Thompson, Norman J. Temple
    Pages 19-40
  4. Andrew Thompson, Matthias Egger
    Pages 41-58
  5. Stephen Workman
    Pages 117-128
  6. Andrew Thompson, Norman J. Temple
    Pages 129-145
  7. Andrew Thompson, Norman J. Temple
    Pages 147-168
  8. Norman J. Temple, Andrew Thompson
    Pages 189-192
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 193-195

About this book


Andrew Thompson, Norman J. Temple We humans are an extraordinary species. One of our finest achievements is the development of morality, of a sense of right and wrong. We articulate and then impose this sensitivity upon ourselves in the form of ethical guidelines, rules, regulations, and laws. We have, regrettably, also developed marvelously clever ways of justifying our behavior whenever it runs afoul of these prescriptions. We have, for example, developed the concept of objectivity to guide scientific pursuits and subsequently established rights which undermine the possibility of ever coming close to attaining the goal of being objective -- rights which entitle participating scientists to gain personal, tangible profits from scientific discoveries. Formerly, we envisaged gods who kept us in place, who reminded us that we were not all-powerful or especially wise. Now we tend to worship our achievements, especially our technological ones, and ourselves. Mary Midgley' aptly names this phenomenon, "humanolatry." We have lost our respect for nature in our enthusiasm for changing it to that which suits our shortsighted ends. We must, as she says, "unlearn" this way of thinking.


Medical Ethics diagnosis ethics health morality social justice

Editors and affiliations

  • Andrew Thompson
    • 1
  • Norman J. Temple
    • 2
  1. 1.University of OregonEugeneUSA
  2. 2.Athabasca UniversityAthabascaCanada

Bibliographic information