Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Group 1 Chapter 5 Discussion

Our Chapter 5 discussion began when Logan and I combined our discussion questions to ask for thoughts from the group on animal research. Kat said she thought that we might be slightly elitist against animals (to echo Peter Singer), but the group's general consensus was that if the research was foreseeably humane then animal subjects are a necessary evil.

We then briefly discussed genetically modified organisms and how we felt about this "enhancement" of our foods. There was much debate, with some members not as against it as others. Proponents cited the better taste of GMO's, while opponents speculated their potential future health implications.

Logan then continued the enhancement discussion by asking the group for opinions on human enhancement. Evan responded that such enhancements would widen the gap between the wealthy who could afford such technology and the poor who could not. We then broached the subject of testing embryos for genetic predisposition to diseases, and again the camp was split because we could not assume what the implications of such practices would be. There is certainly no clear-cut answer for these questions. We all agreed that all the time, thought, and money spent on controversial issues should be funneled toward curing widespread diseases, such as cancer.

Finally, Evan asked if the results of unethical studies should be used if they profit the greater good. We all thought that they should be used if they could help others, and their benefits to society could be a stepping stone toward redeeming the ill means it took to achieve the results.


  1. I hope everyone is taking note: this is a model discussion summary. Thanks, Meredith. Very good. (Sorry I didn't make it to your group yesterday, sounds like I missed a very good conversation. I may have to put myself "on the clock.")

  2. (FQ) Name one of the methods in preventative medicine used to control the spread of disease.
    Screening, vaccination/immunization, and notification and controls on the movement of infected people

    (FQ) What political philosopher details the aspects of minimum health status in his book, A Theory of Justice?
    John Rawls

    (FQ) What is meant by the term "heartsick patients"?
    People in deprived areas with multiple health problems.

    (DQ) How would you guys handle the lifeboat situation? I'm curious as to who everyone else would elect to survive

    Below is a link to a discussion on health rationing from a bioethics symposium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

  3. Factual question:
    How did John Snow halt the spread of cholera on Broad Street?
    He removed the water pump handle.
    Philosophical Question:
    Should some people have more rights than others? Does having massive amounts of wealth justify, say being able to get away with crimes?
    This study says you shouldn't drink roundup: http://civileats.com/2012/09/20/first-ever-long-term-stud-on-gmo-foods-should-have-you-worried/
    that and exposing foods to high levels of herbicides and eating the foods while they are still coated in herbicides is bad too. So just don't drink roundup