In my novel True Monsters Dr. Adam Manikin, the city coroner, aids Detective Virginia “Ginny” Smythe in her quest to catch the serial killer Overman. He is Ginny's friend and confidant, as well as a makeshift off-the-books surgeon when she's stepped out of line and gotten injured. Manikin is diametrically opposed to organ donation, and his own motives against that are revealed towards the end of True Monsters, and carry over into it's sequel (tentatively titled True Monsters: The Good Hypocrite). So what is Utilitarian Bio-Ethics?
“For those whose cost of medical treatment or maintenance outweighs their total future economic value (because they are terminally ill, are no longer productive, and have no reasonable chance of becoming productive or happy in the foreseeable future), it is economically efficient to free up medical resources by not treating them. As an example of this logic, every nurse who cares for a terminally ill Alzheimer's or cancer patient, a comatose individual, or an individual in a vegetative state, is one less nurse to take care of a sick baby or a 12-year-old gunshot victim.”
The way I read that is that a passive form of Euthanasia is sought. Instead of outright killing the person Utilitarian Bioethics states that they should be left to die if the resources needed to keep them alive can be used in another “better” way.
The happiness part is what really strikes me though. How do they define happiness? And how can they know how someone feels, let alone relate that state of mind to their illness or condition?
The core of Utilitarian Bioethics believe that someone should be valued depending on their ability to contribute to society and live a full life. Under their evaluation, disabled people, simple people, uneducated people etc. are all “nonpersons”.
They believe these “nonpersons” should be left to die, or in worse cases culled, so that “normal” or exceptional people can take their places and improve the world.
They use these kinds of arguments:
“Now that the human genome has been decoded, the ramifications of a utilitarian ethic go far beyond socioeconomic and legislative reform. In era of post-genomic medicine, they extend to control of the pleasure-pain axis itself. By unravelling the molecular substrates of emotion, biotechnology allied to nanomedicine permits the quantity, quality, duration and distribution of happiness and misery in the world to be controlled - ultimately at will. More controversially, the dilemmas of traditional casuistry will lose their relevance. This is because our imminent mastery of the reward centres ensures that everyone can be heritably "better than well" - a utopian-sounding prediction that currently still strikes most of us as comically childlike in its naïveté. However, unlike perennially scarce "positional" goods and services in economics, personal happiness doesn't need to be rationed. Within the next few centuries, a triple alliance of biotech, infotech and nanotech can - potentially - make invincible bliss a presupposition of everyday mental health.”
If that still confuses you (and it took me a few reads to get through the wordiness), basically they think in the near future we will be able to manufacture happiness using a combination of biological science and advanced computer technology. Until that day comes, however, a survival of the fittest-esque regime should be put into place that allocates resources to the happy, strong people and allows the “weak” to die out.
In a way, Utilitarian Bioethics is simply another form of Nazism. Breeding out the “nonpersons” to create a perfect race. The main difference is that they don't make death camps and round up their prey, they simply ignore them into destruction.
Let's all remember that Hitler was born healthy, and Stephen Hawking is confined to a wheelchair. Utilitarian Bio-ethics would have tossed Hawking to the proverbial curb. It is a fact that even if we understand the entire genetic code of a human being, we still do not know how they will live their lives. The same Adolf, had he been born today and in different economical standing may have become a charismatic, upstanding President of the U.S. Or a janitor.
In the forthcoming novel Dr. Manikin will be placed against someone who is for these actions, though I do hope to give the idea it's fair say. Sometimes the characters believe contrary to what I think or believe, and that can be very frustrating. I know that Detective Smythe and Mayor Oldsole will be supporting characters, and so will the City of Victoria itself as a microcosm of the world at large.
Please research Utilitarian Bioethics further yourselves if this outrages you too, and remember it in case it is brought into use by a government any time in the future.
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