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12/22/2010 - 1:33pm

What are the current unresolved issues in transhumanist thought? Which of these issues are peculiar to transhumanist philosophy and the transhumanist movement, and which are more actually general problems of Enlightenment thought? Which of these are simply inevitable differences of opinion among the more or less like-minded, and which need decisive resolution to avoid tragic errors of the past?

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2010? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 31 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 600 in all), based on how many total hits each one received....

12/22/2010 - 12:48pm

2011 promises to be a year chock full of complex legislative debate over the policies of emerging technologies like synthetic biology and geoengineering, to name only two. Fortunately, three elements are brewing to create what might just be a perfect storm in terms of getting all the right folks to huddle together so the best policies are set forth.

I’ll back up a bit. The U.S. Federal government cannot be an expert on all things, so when complex matters arise (particularly ones tied to emerging technologies like synthetic biology and geoengineering), it seeks outside expertise to inform its decision-making. How so? By convening Federal Advisory Committees and by announcing public comment opportunities in the Federal Register....

12/22/2010 - 9:47am
I already blogged twice (here and here) about the November 30th conference on Medical Futility and Maryland Law.  I prepared a slightly longer summary of the conference and of its target issues in this piece (in PDF) for the forthcoming January 2011 United Seniors of Maryland Newsletter.
12/22/2010 - 9:22am
In 1995, 33-year-old Kate Adamson fell into Locked-In Syndrome, or total paralysis from brain injury, due to a brain stem stroke.  Doctors assumed that she was in a vegetative state when she was completely aware of what was going on around her. At one point, she was operated on without an anaesthetic.  (Nelson Mail)  Doctors said she had less than a one in a million chance of surviving.  She apparently was that one in a million.  Ms Adamson spent three months in rehabilitation, slowly learning everything all over again – how to eat, talk and walk. She still has no use of her left arm, wears a brace on her left leg and walks with the help of a cane.  She has written a book, Paralyzed but not Powerless.
12/22/2010 - 9:09am
See links with lots of reference material at the end of the original posting.
12/21/2010 - 11:07pm

What kinds of political obligations do corporations have? In particular, do they have obligations, like governments do, not to interfere with things like people’s ability to express themselves?

Apple has joined the shameful list of companies that have denied support for Wikileaks....

12/21/2010 - 9:23pm

Emilie Gossiaux was riding her bicycle in October 2010, when an 18-wheel truck making a right turn struck her. After she arrived at Bellevue Hospital Center, her heart stopped for about one minute after she went into cardiac arrest.  Emilie had suffered a traumatic brain injury, a stroke and multiple fractures in her head, pelvis and leg. Emilie’s mother said that on the second day a nurse told her that her daughter was gone, and asked about organ donations.(New York Times)  But Emilie had not died.  Though blinded by the accident, Emilie is still continuing her recovery.  Her family is raising money for her expenses here.  

12/21/2010 - 2:56pm

Let’s step back and examine how, in the U.S., Democrats and Republicans have become identified with two quite opposite economic theories.


12/21/2010 - 1:08pm

I was recently interviewed for a student-oriented CSR project called “Citizen Act.”

(Citizen Act is a “training game which trains students in the responsible banking practices of tomorrow.” It’s sponsored by Société Générale, a European financial services company.)...

12/20/2010 - 9:16pm

This is a brief follow-up to my post a few days ago on the the impact of scholarly legal analysis on law reform.  This is not directly about medical futility.  But it is about my role in this and other health law and bioethics debates.  The latest issue of the University of Queensland Law Journal includes an article by Harvard Law Professor Mark Tushnet titled "Academics as Law-Makers?"  Tushnet observes that: