This inherent value attributed to human beings means that each person is an end in him or herself and should not be treated solely as a means to some other end. Finally, as rational agents, we are free and capable of making our own decisions and choosing actions based on our own goals and reasoning.
The ten leadership Principles below highlight what becomes possible when LS are used to structure everyday interactions.
We define principles as rules governing how we choose to relate to others and statements of our beliefs about what helps create great organizations.
This blog deals with issues pertaining to natural dignity and worth that all humanity deserves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Bioethics as understood and practiced today was created by a congressional mandate in 1974. In the late 1960's and early 1970's, Senator Edward Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat, and then–Senator Walter Mondale, later to become vice president under President Jimmy Carter, conducted hearings on many of these abuses.
The Belmont principles became the foundation for the guidelines that the Office for Protection from Research Risks uses when assessing the ethics of using human subjects in research. Starting in the late 19th century, with the rise of medical schools and teaching hospitals, traditional Hippocratic ethics began to incorporate new rules governing the behavior of physicians toward each other.
After World War II, new medical research and technologies began to complicate patient care, thanks to massive federal funding of the health sciences.
Starting in the 1960's, there were a series of conferences around the country on such issues as population control, thought control, sterilization, cloning, artificial insemination, and sperm banks.
Other conferences of the 1960's delved further into the implications of science for the modern world.
Also evolving during this time were new concepts of scientific and medical ethics and the possible roles that professional ethicists and theologians should play in the critical debates over the new standards of right and wrong.
Some theologians, such as the Christian ethicist Paul Ramsey, persisted in proposing distinctly theological principles and values to guide such deliberations.
The result was the secularization of both theology and philosophy for public policy purposes. As the 1970's approached, the debates and their participants moved from conferences at universities to permanent think thanks. Under the leadership of the Dutch fetal–development researcher Andre Hellegers, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics (originally named the Kennedy Center for the Study of Human Reproduction and Development) opened at Georgetown University in 1971. Many of the conference participants of the 1960's and the think–tank scholars of the 1970's were among those testifying before the Mondale and Kennedy congressional hearings that led to the passage of the National Research Act of 1974. Inevitably, theoretical cracks began to form in the very foundation of this new bioethics theory. Another reason for the theoretical and practical chaos surrounding bioethics these days is that almost anyone can be a bioethicist. As bioethics supplants traditional ethics before our very eyes, few seem to question its underlying premises. It bears no relation to the patient–centered Hippocratic ethics that for nearly 2,500 years required physicians to treat every human being in their care as worthy of respect, no matter how sick or small or weak or disabled. Perhaps one of these days, society will come to grips with the moral and practical mess that bioethics has created and come up with something to replace it. Below, in the middle column are statements about what is valued but not often practiced because conventional structures make it too difficult.
Using Liberating Structures makes it relatively easy and practical to start living this principle more fully.


We characterize them as unnoticed or autopilot because they are often unexamined habits—so familiar that they are easily overlooked. Dianne Irving's article "The Bioethics Mess" appeared in the online publication LifeIssues.
It's the application of traditional philosophical or theological principles to the moral dilemmas created by, say, cloning or experimenting with new AIDS drugs, right?
During the late 1960's and early 1970's, there was an explosion of exposes of research abuses in medicine, and also of ethical dilemmas created by new life–prolonging technologies. Aborted fetuses were rapidly becoming prized biological materials for medical investigation, raising serious moral questions.
They also underlie a host of other federal regulations and guidelines for medical research, and they have worked their way into the private sector as well. One was a series of Gustavus Adolphus Nobel meetings in Minnesota in which many Nobel winners participated. Most of the savants of the 1960's espoused a then–fashionable ethical relativism, which raised concerns among some theologians and philosophers about the wisdom of allowing the scientific elite to develop policies outside the constraints of traditional ethical principles. In 1971, the first volume of the Hastings Center Report appeared, a publication that was to become a bible of secular bioethics, which was just then acquiring its name.
Its mission was to study the ethical issues involved in reproductive research in a Catholic context, if a generally liberal Catholic one.
Many in this army of secular scholars also sat on the committee that later issued the Belmont Report with its three principles.
The commission selectively took bits and pieces from different and contradictory ethical theories and rolled them up into one ball. In fact, because the Belmont principles were derived from bits and pieces of fundamentally contradictory philosophical systems, the result was theoretical chaos. This obviously contradicts the Hippocratic interpretation of beneficence, and it also violates time–honored international guidelines, such as the Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki, which bar physicians from experimenting on their patients unless it is for the patient's benefit.
This Rawls–influenced definition is very different from the classic Aristotelian definition of justice as treating people fairly as individuals. Respect for persons is supposed to be a Kantian notion, in which respect for the individual is absolute.
Even the founders of bioethics have recently admitted that the Belmont principles present grave problems as guidelines for physicians and researchers.
Many colleges, universities, and medical schools require a course in bioethics in order to graduate.
But we should know it for what it is: a form of extreme utilitarianism in both its theoretical and practical forms. It certainly bears no relation to Catholic medical ethics, which continue the Hippocratic tradition in light of church teachings on moral law. This time society will perhaps not rely so heavily on the self–proclaimed scientific and moral experts.
Traditional medical ethics focuses on the physician's duty to the individual patient, whose life and welfare are always sacrosanct. And good–bye, especially to the Catholic understanding of the sacredness of the life of each individual human being.
How did it come about that our government and its non–elected experts, rather than religious leaders or even traditional philosophers, acquired the power to define what is normatively ethical for all Americans facing complex medical or scientific issues?
Its practitioners now had the sole privilege of education, examining, licensing, and disciplining other physicians, who pledged themselves to use their skills to benefit society at large as well as their own patients.


The emphasis was now on extensive cooperation among physicians and all the other professionals involved in the care of patients.
There, such pioneers of bioethics as Dubos, Ramsey, Gustafson, Renee Fox, Arthur Caplan, Robert Veatch, and even Mondale and the liberal Catholic journalist Peter Steinfels held forth. Furthermore, each of the three principles of the new bioethics was prima facie: no one principle could overrule any of the other two.
More problematically, when people tried to apply the new theory to real patients in medical and research settings, it didn't work because, practically speaking, there was no way to resolve the inherent conflicts among the three principles. But the Belmont Report blurred that idea with Mill's utilitarian views of personal autonomy. The Hastings Center's Callahan has baldly conceded that after 25 years, bioethics simply has not worked.
Bioethics has also heavily influenced legal and media ethics and is even taught in high schools. And bioethics offers little concrete guidance to physicians and scientists even on its own terms. We call the values espoused because we frequently find, in our fieldwork, a gap between what is said and what is done.
Using Liberating Structures makes it relatively easy and practical to stop these behaviors. The focus of bioethics is fundamentally utilitarian, centered, like other utilitarian disciplines, around maximizing total human happiness.
Nursing homes and hospitals seemed to be overflowing with the hopelessly ill apparently consuming scarce medical resources. The paradigm of those duties was the Hippocratic oath, which most medical schools routinely administered to their graduates until relatively recent times.
How should the benefits and burdens of medical research be justly distributed, or scarce medical resources allocated?
He suggested that, since human intelligence was largely genetically determined, scientists would embark on serious efforts to raise the human race's collective brainpower by various means, including sterilization, cloning, and artificial insemination. This sort of thinking would become a major characteristic of the new field of bioethics yet to come. In dealing with real–life medical and scientific problems, the bioethicist was supposed to simultaneously reconcile the values of all three principles. Physicians were supposed to inform their patients about their diagnoses and courses of treatment and not to exploit them for teaching purposes. As at Dartmouth, concerns about human evolution, eugenics, and population control were primary. J., a Catholic bioethicist of decidedly liberal views, and later, Edmond Pellegrino, a more traditionalist Catholic bioethicist, worked out of the Kennedy Institute at various times.
Edmund Pellegrino as its first Director, the Institute on Human Values, sponsored by the United Ministries in Education, a partnership of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches.



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