Transhumanism, Ethics and the Therapeutic Revolution
Agents of Change
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This book explores the impact of developments in pharmaceutical medicine in the twentieth century on a Christian ethical evaluation of transhumanism and future ‘hi tech’ medical enhancement technologies. It suggests that the Christian ethical assessment of proposed future radical transhumanist biomedical technologies should be conducted in the light of responses to past medical advances. Two specific case studies are featured, focusing on the oral contraceptive pill and on Prozac and SSRI antidepressants. Whilst future biomedical technologies may have therapeutic benefits for the relief of disease and contribute to improving human health and welfare, the book considers the implications for society and their acceptability as therapies from a Christian perspective. Stressing the inadequacy of natural law alone, the author proposes an ethical framework for assessing novel biomedical technologies according to the effects on personal autonomy, embodiment and bodily life, and on the imago Dei.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Therapy Plus: An Ultimate Cure
1. Biomedical Science and Medical Ethics: Past and Future
2. Transhumanism: Losing Our Humanity?
3. New World, New People: The Contraceptive Pill
4. Better than Well: Prozac and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) Antidepressants
5. Towards A New Therapeutic Ethic: Re-Evaluation of Transhumanism
6. Braver New World – Reimagining Transhumanism.
Stephen Goundrey-Smith is an applied theologian and ordained minister in the Church of England who has also worked as a pharmacist. He received a PhD in Theology from the University of Exeter, UK.