Bioethical Silence & Black Lives

Voices in Bioethics

by Derek Ayeh 

When confirmation was released that researchers from China had genetically modified human embryos for the first time ever, there was a sudden explosion of activity on the web from the bioethics community. Physicians, academics, and anyone else who could claim some affiliation to the field wrote articles for magazines discussing the ethical dimensions of the issue. After all, human enhancement and genetic modification are staples of bioethical discourse. Who wouldn’t want to add their two cents and take part in such an important discussion?

Conversely, when the news of Freddie Gray’s death became public, I was greeted by a surprising but familiar bioethical silence. Surprising because I thought that the relationship between Freddie Gray’s death and bioethics was rather obvious: here was a man who requested healthcare numerous times but was refused it—the justification being that he was a criminal and either faking his pain…

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