Monday, November 19, 2012

The Most Difficult Ethical Dilemma Facing Science Today

The Guardian newspaper recently interviewed Britain's most celebrated scientist, David Attenborough.  Here is the final question and answer: 

What is the most difficult ethical dilemma facing science today?

DA:  How far do you go to preserve individual human life?

HT:  Ken Hillman, who just wrote in the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine:  "At the end of the day, it is our profession, through our societies and as individual critical care physicians, that needs to initiate and be involved in this discourse.  Not to dictate what should be done but to inform people of the limitations of the specialty and the inevitability of dying.  I believe this challenge is one of the more pressing and important that critical care medicine faces."





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