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The Peril and Promise of Medical Technology


D. Gareth Jones

Medical technology is one of the most powerful forces in the modern world, with enormous opportunities for good. For many in affluent countries, the expectations of what constitutes the good life have been transformed, as neonatal mortality rates have declined, life expectancy has increased, and one disease after another has been defeated. However, it is not an unalloyed blessing, as social patterns have been transformed, family structures have been challenged, and ordinary people as well as health professionals and scientists confront novel ethical dilemmas.
Gareth Jones writes not only as a scientist and bioethicist but also as a Christian. His aim is to make sense of some of the myriad issues encountered in a world dominated by medical technology. These include manipulation at the earliest stages of embryonic human life, through to ageing and attempts at bringing about physical immortality. The perceived power of genes is critically examined, as are claims that morality can be enhanced using technology. The centrality of the brain for making us what we are is sympathetically examined, against the backdrop of the ongoing debate on dualism and physicalism. Acknowledging our ever-increasing dependence upon medical technology, the author explores ways in which we can live in hope rather than fear.


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Index of Names


Agar, Nick 218 Barns, Ian 14–15 Bellamy, Stephen 74 Birch, Chris 124 Bolte Taylor, Jill 125–6 Buchanan, Allen 218 Campbell, A. V. 185 Clark, Andy 212 Cole-Turner, Ronald 78 Crick, Francis 116 Dawkins, Richard 3–4 Deane-Drummond, Celia 71, 103, 214–15, 216 Douglas, Tom 160 Eccles, Sir John 117–19, 121 Edwards, Sir Robert 53–4, 235–6 Fallon, James 97–8 Goddard, Andrew 14 Green, Joel 119–20 de Grey, Aubrey 182–3, 243–4 von Hagens, Gunther 191–2, 195 Haraway, Donna 214 Harris, John 159 Hefner, Philip 215–16 Hui, Edwin 73–4 Huxley, Aldous 150–1, 163 Jeeves, Malcolm 119, 120 Juengst, E. T. 177 Kass, Leon 79 Kepler, Johannes 229, 230 Kurzeil, Ray 210–11 McHugh, Tommy 124 MacKay, Donald 118–19, 120 Mealey, Ann Marie 72 Meilaender, Gilbert 185 Messer, Neil 15–16, 58 Mohler Jr., Dr. R. Albert 75–6 Murphy, Nancey 121 Northcott, M. S. 221–2 O’Donovan, Oliver 66, 68, 80 Paul, St 9, 25 Persson, Ingmar 158–9, 160–1 Peters, Ted 76–8, 87, 103, 104, 105, 142 Peterson, James C. 108 Popper, Karl 117 Rogerson, John 10–11 Sandberg, Anders 143 Sarkin, Jon 124–5 Savulescu, Julian 143, 151, 158–9, 160–1 Shannon, Thomas T. 70–1 Singer, Peter 151 Song, Robert 78 Sparrow, Rob 219 280 Index of Names Walter, James J. 70–1 Waters, Brent 58, 59 Wield, Cathy 40–2, 45 Wyatt, John 2 Thomas, Dylan 172 Torrance, Thomas 66 Vatinno,...

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