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Bioscience ethics facilitates free and accurate information transfer from applied science to applied bioethics. Its major elements are: increased understanding of biological systems, responsible use of technology, and attuning ethnocentric debates to new scientific insights.
Pioneered by Irina Pollard in 1994, bioscience ethics has become an internationally recognized discipline, interfacing science and bioethics within professional perspectives such as medical, legal, bio-engineering, and economics. Written for students and professionals alike, the fundamental feature of this book is its breadth, important because bioscience ethics interweaves many diverse subjects in the process of gathering specialist scientific knowledge for bioethical review. It contains chapters which embrace topics affecting human reproduction, end-of-life care and euthanasia, challenge human-dominated ecosystems, and review population growth, economic activity and warfare. A background section describes the evolution of ethical consciousness, explores the future, and proposes that the reworking of ethical boundaries can enhance mature decision-making in harmony with changing technology.
1. Human origins, natural selection and the evolution of ethics; 2. Sex determination, brain sex and sexual behaviour;
3. Inappropriate lifestyle and congenital disability in children: basic principles of growth, toxicology, teratogenesis and mutagenesis;
4. Substance abuse and parenthood: biological mechanisms - bioethical responsibilities;
5. Fertility awareness: the ovulatory method of birth control, aging gametes and congenital malformation in children;
6. Understanding child abuse and its biological consequences;
7. The state of wellbeing: basic principles, coping strategies and individual mastery;
8. The state of wellbeing: on the end of life care and euthanasia;
9. Current reproductive technologies: achievements and desired goals;
10. The recombinant DNA technologies;
11. Stem cells, nuclear transfer and cloning technology;
12. Human dominated ecosystems: re-evaluating environmental priorities;
13. Human dominated ecosystems: reclaiming the future for following generations;
14. Human dominated ecosystems: warfare = fitness enhancement or losing strategy?;
15. Human dominated ecosystems: reworking bioethical frontiers.
Irina Pollard is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney. In the 1990s, she initiated and developed new ways of communicating science described as bioscience ethics. Her research activities have generated a deep concern for social justice and, as a result, she is active in community education and serves on local and international institutional ethics committees. Through U.N. affiliated organizations, she is occupied with international bioscience-bioethics education projects via active membership on UNESCO's School of Ethics and, more recently, as the Chair of the Australian Unit of the International Network of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics. In 2007 she was elected on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Bioethics. She also founded the Bioscience-Bioethics Friendship Co-operative (BBFC) web portal at http://www.bioscience-bioethics.org/ which provides free admittance to educational material in the area of stress physiology, reproduction, toxicology-teratology, environmental ethics and access to other useful links for those interested in bioscience and bioethics.
'... informative, accomplished, and illustrated where appropriate. Irina Pollard has created a highly factual and incredibly diverse book which should be of interest to a very broad readership.' The Biologist