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Author Archive: Mark McQuain

About Mark McQuain

By Mark McQuain Voltaire has been credited with saying: “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms”. In a previous blog entry, Tom Garigan reminded us that it is literally vital that we define our terms when we engage in ethical debates, particularly those ethical debates related to the beginning of life. Explicit …

Continue reading "Oh, Those Darned Terms (part 2)"

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Regular readers of this blog will hopefully forgive me for repeating myself but given the recent failure of the “Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” (BAASPA) in the Senate, the repetition seems warranted. My concern is not specifically the result of the failure of this particular bill. We indeed already have a “Born-Alive Infants Protection …

Continue reading "Justice Potter Stewart’s Infanticide Equivalent"

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By Mark McQuain I recently read, with admittedly initial amusement, an article from The Daily Mail that described a young man of Indian decent who was intending to sue his parents for giving birth to him “without his consent.” Raphael Samuel, a 27 year-old who is originally from Mumbai, is part of a growing movement …

Continue reading "Informed Consent and Genetic Germline Engineering"

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By Mark McQuain Last week, Virginia delegate Kathy Tran introduced a bill to eliminate some current restrictions on late term abortions in the Commonwealth. During the committee hearing on the bill, she answered a question by one of the other committee members to the effect that her bill would permit a third trimester abortion up …

Continue reading "Abortion, at any time, for any reason?"

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By Mark McQuain Many philosophers argue that attaining the threshold of self-awareness is more valuable in determining a human’s right-to-life than simply being a living member of the human race. They require a human being attain self-awareness (reaching so-called full “personhood”) before granting unrestricted right-to-life for that particular human being. Lacking observable self-awareness relegates one …

Continue reading "Self-Awareness, Personhood and Death"

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01/01/2019 Cyborg Society
By Mark McQuain A cybernetic organism, or cyborg, is an organism that is part human and part machine. My favorite TV show in the mid 1970’s was “Six Million Dollar Man”, the story of an injured test pilot who lost both of his legs, his right arm and his left eye. His doctors made him …

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12/18/2018 After God
By Mark McQuain In the December issue of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, editor Dr. Mark Cherry invited reviews of the late Professor H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr.’s book After God: Morality & Bioethics in a Secular Age. Dr. Engelhardt passed away this past summer and was the co-founding editor of the Journal. The emphasis …

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12/18/2018 After God
By Mark McQuain In the December issue of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, editor Dr. Mark Cherry invited reviews of the late Professor H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr.’s book After God: Morality & Bioethics in a Secular Age. Dr. Engelhardt passed away this past summer and was the co-founding editor of the Journal. The emphasis …

Continue reading "After God"

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By Mark McQuain November 2018 will go down as one of the most pivotal points in human history. Jon Holmlund covered the facts in his last blog entry. Regardless of what you think about the ethics of He Jiankui’s recent use of CRISPR to alter the human genomes of IVF embryos and his decision to …

Continue reading "The Genetic Singularity Point has Arrived"

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By Mark McQuain Almost exactly one year ago, this blog asked rhetorically whether your polygenic risk score was a good thing. Jon Holmlund raised this issue again last week, mentioning a company called Genomic Prediction. This company’s claim about the merits of their technology deserves close ethical scrutiny and is my reason for mentioning them …

Continue reading "Sprinting Down the Road on “The Children We Want”"

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