On the Phenomenon of the “Naked Emperor” in Medicine

  1. Lemma
  2. О феномене "голого короля" в медицине
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ethics - Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology - Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine
  6. 18-05-2018
  7. Силуянова, И. В. [Author]. О феномене «голого короля» в медицине
  8. Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии.
  9. Nietzsche, Friedrich - bioethics - reproductive rights - abortion - prenatal diagnostics - organ transplantation - ethics - embryonic
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>И. В. Силуянова (2008). О феномене «голого короля» в медицине. Церковь и Биоэтика: Церковно-общественный совет по биомедицинской этике при Московской Патриархии. Retrieved from: <a href="http://bioethics.orthodoxy.ru/biblioteka/khristianstvo-i-meditsina/237">http://bioethics.orthodoxy.ru/biblioteka/khristianstvo-i-meditsina/237</a> </p>
    1. The following article was posted on the online website Church and Bioethics. Looking into the ethical aspect of prenatal diagnostics, the author argues that the latter is characterized by the “immorality of the recommendations of ethical committees”, in particular those of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). The author quotes the FIGO’s position on the issue, which states that “the potential benefit of prenatal diagnosis is the possibility of abandoning a sick fertilized egg by a woman”, pointing out that “prenatal diagnostic services should be provided and distributed as widely as possible.”

      The author compares this statement with Nietzsche’s position expressed in his "Morals for Doctors" (Twilight of the Idols). In this work Nietzsche describes patients as “parasites of society” and calls for the “ruthless suppression and elimination of degenerate life.” However, the author points out, if Nietzsche himself described his position as immoral – that is opposed to traditional moral and ethical norms, the FIGO does not have the courage and the scientific consistency to name its recommendations for the destruction of life at the embryonic level "immoral" and thus to recognize the “nakedness of the emperor.” 

      Further, the author stresses that the FIGO’s document "Anencephaly and organ transplantation" (1988), which opposes the principle of beneficence (good in relation to those who need transplanted organs) and the principle of protecting the innocent (protection against the consumer attitude towards the anencephalic infant), makes a choice in favour of the consumer attitude. Notably, it recommends to review the legal definitions of death in order to bring them in line with the level of development of scientific knowledge for the placement of the child "in the lungs ventilation device for the subsequent organ donation."

      The article is also highly critical of the “reproduction rights” and “safe abortion” issues. The author underlines that not only abortions are “against the biological nature and essence of a woman whose natural purpose is directly determined by the function and task of procreation” but they also cause “the moral degradation of society.” The growing number of the so-called “dangerous abortions” (despite the legalization of “safe abortions”) is also mentioned as an argument against the “immoral practice.”

      Commenting on the ethical aspect of selling reproduction cells and embryos, the author underlines the hypocrisy of the FIGO’s position. On the one hand, the organization prohibits commercial use of cells and embryos; on the other hand, its document "Pre-Embryonic Research" (1998), which does not recognize the embryo as a human being up to the 14th day of its existence, promotes its treatment as “medical material.” In this capacity it can be bought, sold and used for research purposes. The author concludes by stating that such positions of the FIGO are very dangerous, especially given that Nietzschean and fascist ideas and movements are currently gaining strength in the society.