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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
Abstract of "The Ethics of Biological Engineering"
Harold P. Sjursen
Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Six MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201
It is necessary to distinguish the ethics of biological engineering from biological ethics and biomedical ethics. The three fields, while overlapping and sharing some common issues, from the outset have different prima facie areas of concern. Biological ethics is perhaps the broadest and may encompass the concerns of the other two. Since this discussion concentrates on the ethics of biological engineering, a contrast between it and biomedical ethics is in order. One might argue that biological engineering ethics is subordinate to biomedical ethics since biological engineering for the most part is devoted to the conception, design, implementation and operation of medical devices. However correct this assessment may be, it does not throw into relief the aspects of biological engineering that are most controversial. In parsing out this distinction, it is not helpful to rely on the established distinctions of only a few years ago. As with any rapidly advancing technology, newly applied science has radically revised the agenda of possibilities.
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