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48 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is Biotechnology?
(long def)
Any technique that uses living organisms or substances from those organisms, to make or modify a product, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific uses
What is Biotechnology?
(short def)
Any technology associated with the manipulation of biological systems
What Is “Ethics”?
Ethics or morality poses questions about how we ought to act and how we should live. It is an inquiry into the justification of particular actions (are these actions right or wrong and why?), as well as a search for traits of moral character that promote human flourishing.
Ethics is not the same as . . .
private values
society’s social standards
Two ways of slicing the ethical pie:
1. “naturalism” or “natural law”
2. “moral sense” or “moral intuition”
"Naturalism" or "Natural Law"
Right/wrong can be discerned by reflection on the natural world and human nature.
Such reflection yields practical rules for ethical behavior.
“Moral sense” or “moral intuition”
Immediate grasp of self evident truths.
Reflecting on a situation, one “knows” what to do.
Like one knows that yellow is yellow, one knows what’s right
“Ethics of repugnance” (Leon Kass)
“The Yuk factor” (Ted Peters)
To Analyze Practical Ethics Problems, what 3 things are needed?
1. Facts
2. Ethical theory, e.g., utility, rights, deontology
3. Presuppositions
Ethical Theories are based on (6)things
1. based on principles
Utility (Mill, Bentham) (consequences)
Deontology (Kant)
2. based on development of virtues (Aristotle)
3. based on rights and justice (“formalism”)
4. based on the common good
5. based on intuition (moral sense)
6. based on natural law
Principle of utility
“Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.”

“Greatest good for the greatest number”
Hence, no action is wrong in and of itself.
Critics of Utility
1. How do we account for obligations, e.g., telling the truth, if only results dictate when obligation is to be kept?
2. Imposition of great suffering on the few in order to benefit the many. No concern for justice i.e., for treating people fairly.
Deontology (def)
. . . is a moral theory which stresses one’s duty to do something because that particular action is inherently right in and of itself.
Deontology Action is justified on the basis of _____
1. A moral imperative which does not justify itself through consequences.
2. Principle justified by the nature of human reason.
Kantian Deontology: Action is right when it satisfies ____
A single principle, the categorical imperative
Categorical Imperative
“Act only on that maxim [i.e. rule] that you can will to be a universal law.”
“Act so as to treat humanity, either yourself or others, always as an end and never only as a means.”
What is the relationship between duty and CI?
We act from duty when we follow the C.I.
Action is right only when done for the sake of duty.
Critics of Kant
1. What happens when duties conflict e.g., telling the truth and keeping a promise?
2. What maxims (rules) are chosen for testing? Can we make them so specific that we can do anything?
3. Who (what) counts as rational and therefore possesses dignity—how measured?
4. No sensitivity to consequences or circumstances.
Virtue ethics is not based on ____. It is a turn from ____ed approach to _____ as a source of moral action.
1. principle
2. principled
3. character
Virtues = (2 things)
1. ideals; core values; good habits
2. mean between extremes
e.g., courage => foolhardy and cowardice
Critics of Virtue Ethics (2)
1. Without principles, there is no way to resolve moral conflicts
2. Virtues can be incompatible when translated into action, e.g., prudence and determination.
A right . . .
is a justifiable claim on others.
Rights go hand in hand with ___
Negative right =
claim of noninterference, e.g., right of bodily integrity
Positive right =
claim on positive action of another or society
E.g., Right to genetic testing irrespective of ability to pay
Rights can be absolute and relative. Define each.
1. Absolute: always holds, e.g., right not to be tortured
2. Relative: a)hierarchy of rights, b)no right is absolute c)holds depending on circumstances and competing rights, e.g., free choice vs. individual and/or social benefit (e.g., mandatory genetic testing)
Rights-based ethics - Advantages (2)
1. Respect for individual & individual moral claims
2. Protection against tyranny of the majority
Rights-based ethics - Crituques
1. How to resolve conflicts between competing rights, e.g., individual right to genetic ignorance vs. family members right to know
2. Emphasis on individual at expense of community
Autonomy (5) =
1. Self-governing
2. Right to bodily integrity
3. Informed consent re testing
4. Right to control information now/future
5. Not absolute, i.e., overridden to prevent harm to self or to others
Confidentiality (2)=
1. Controlling access to sensitive information
2. May be limited, e.g., report requirement for STDs
Equity =
Should a society guarantee a minimal level of health care for all residents?
Privacy (informational) =
information about a person’s physical and mental condition, biological and genetic makeup, psychological states, dispositions, habits, and activities is limited
Cloning Animals? What ethical principles might guide our decisions?(6)
1. Ratio of benefits and burdens
2. Fairness
3. Sustainability
4. Respect for natural world
5. Human survival (health, well-being)
6. Precautionary principle
Reproductive Human Cloning Working Definition
The use of SCNT in order to create a child for rearing.
Nonreproductive Human Cloning Definition
“The transfer of human cell nuclei into enucleated oocytes to produce human pre-embryos without implanting the pre-embryos to produce a human child.” --> No intent to produce a child. *Cannot obtain cells from an embryo after primitive streak develops
Basic Ethics Standards - Safety
Distribution of risk/benefit?
1. Nonmaleficence
2. Harm principle - Restrict freedom of people to prevent harm to others
What are stem cells?
Self-renewing, unspecialized cells that can give rise to multiple types of specialized cells in the body through differentiation.
Sources of stem cells
Sources: embryonic (hES), fetal (hGS), and adult tissue (hAS)
Stem cells =
can both self-renew and produce all of the functional specialized cells of the body (e.g., hES) or of the organ from which it was taken (e.g., hAS)
Progenitor cells =
Cells that have developed from stem cells but can produce one or more types of mature cells within an organ
Adult stem cells are pluripotent or multipotent?
multipotent, e.g., hematopoietic stem cells form blood components
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent or multipotent?
pluripotent (i.e., can differentiate into cells of all 3 germ layers)
What are Genetically Modified Foods?
Genetically engineered plants and animals
1. Not traditional cross-breeding
2. Within species or transgenic
3. Cloning
Principle of sustainability
1. To leave the natural world no worse than we found it
2. To provide an acceptable quality of life w/o compromising the future
Principle of justice
fair distribution of benefits and burdens
Principle of Exit
Freely choosing “whole foods” (i.e., foods which have not been combined with other foods or food ingredients) or “non-engineered foods” only.
Precautionary Principle
In the face of (scientific) uncertainty, it is better to err on the side of protecting human and environmental safety, on side of not harming.
pleiotropic effects
unintended changes
Two Bases for Transgenerational Duty: Humanistic basis & Naturalistic basis. Define each.
1. Humanistic basis
Principle that human beings, even those not yet in existence, have (some) rights, e.g., not to be unjustifiably harmed
2. Naturalistic basis
Principle that nature has intrinsic value and, minimally, ought not be left worse off by what we decide and do