These are my sons Liam and Adrian. They’re turning three next month. We’re having a ball. My wife and I are about to have our third, a daughter,due any day now – maybe even as I’m typing here. I’m not kidding. Of course, often when we look at our children, we think about theirfutures. We try to imagine the type of world they will in habit and we plan ways to prepare them for and protect them from that world. I suppose every generation fears the worst.
Butthere is a lot to be excited about. The “Biotech Century” that is uponus holds a great deal of promise for us and our children. Within ourlifetimes we may witness dramatic cures, and experience healthier andmaybe longer lives. Is there a cost? Perhaps. What makes our timeunique is that for the first time in human history we are faced withthe task of defining what it means to be human. Google search anyvarious bioethics buzz words like “cloning”,”stem cell research”,”euthanasia”, or “egg donation” and you will find articles allwrestling essentially with this issue. This question is the core of thebioethics debate.
And this debate is no longer confined to academia, as it was 30 years ago. This is our bioethics, this our children’s bioethics. It is ourresponsibility to engage the debate in meaningful, thoughtful andcreative ways so that we can provide an answer that respects andprotects all human life.
This is what CBC is about. Our mission is this: Equip people to face the challenges of the 21st century, defend the dignity of humankind, and embraceethical biotechnology for the human good. And we offer a host ofresources, events, news, this enewsletter, and much more to drive thatmission. Of course most of this is free for all but it takes resourcesand time to produce and maintain. So, if your not a member of CBC,become one. If you are a member, then donate to CBC and help us fulfillour mission.
I expect that my children and yourchildren will have some challenging issues to face in the future, if not already. We will have gone a long way, though, if today we canplant a vision within them that values and protects the weak andvulnerable among us.
Paul van der Bijl is New Media Director for the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network.
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