Why the Topic of Bioethics in Science
A New Look at an Old Debate
by Carolyn Csongradi
If there is a natural tendency to care, then it is reasonable
to assume that moral knowledge, and integrity can and should be
nurtured along with content knowledge. The role of the teacher
is to facilitate this process, to ask questions and promote learning,
as we do in so many other important areas. The real issue is not
whether there is a rational explanation for the moral behavior
of individuals or for the biological basis of learning. Instead
the focus needs to be on whether "unnatural" moral values
such as fairness, autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence are
to be nurtured for the individual in hopes society might benefit.
The question is: "Will we promote the survival of the society
we live in by providing opportunities at critical times for students
to engage in content based moral problem solving?" Where
better to help adolescents move from a single minded view of self
towards a vision of the self in relationship to the needs of others
in this world than in the process of teaching science?
In the end, we each must find our own moral model, one that works
for us. Living with integrity means knowing our moral code and
following it. Hopefully, this is a system which enables us to
face, evaluate and make the hard choices now and down the road.
Ideally, practicing on situations which mimic life will provide
a level of comfort and make the real dilemmas less anxiety provoking.
We need to feel what our limits are, accept that others may be
guided by different values and perspectives, and respect that
most adolescents already have their own internal standards for