Regulations and Ethics

 The field of bioethics has addressed a broad swathe of human inquiry, ranging from debates over the boundaries of life, surrogacy, and the allocation of scarce health care resources to the right to refuse medical care for religious or cultural reasons. Bioethicists often disagree among themselves over the precise limits of their discipline, debating whether the field should concern itself with the ethical evaluation of all questions involving biology and medicine, or only a subset of these questions. Some bioethicists would narrow ethical evaluation only to the morality of medical treatments or technological innovations, and the timing of medical treatment of humans. Others would broaden the scope of ethical evaluation to include the morality of all actions that might help or harm organisms capable of feeling fear.  The scope of bioethics can expand with biotechnology, including cloning, gene therapy, life extension, human genetic engineering, astroethics and life in space, and manipulation of basic biology through altered DNA, RNA and proteins. These developments will affect future evolution, and may require new principles that address life at its core, such as biotic ethics that values life itself at its basic biological processes and structures, and seeks their propagation. One of the first areas addressed by modern bioethicists was that of human experimentation. Another important principle of bioethics is its placement of value on discussion and presentation. Bioethics has a more expansive application, touching upon the philosophy of science and issues of biotechnology. A bioethicist assists the health care and research community in examining moral issues involved in our understanding of life and death, resolving ethical dilemmas in medicine and science.

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