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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Medical students make good Nazis

The problem with the so-called ethics of science and medicine is that they don't actually exist. They're nothing more than an artificial and arbitrarily imposed set of guidelines created by an impotent non-authority. Even to the extent that they are supposed to exist, as in the case of the Hippocratic Oath, they are seldom honored except in the breach:
AUSTRALIAN medical students are carrying out intrusive procedures on unconscious and anaesthetised patients without gaining the patient's consent. The unauthorised examinations include genital, rectal and breast exams, and raise serious questions about the ethics of up-and-coming doctors, Madison reports....

Of students who were put in this position during the research, 82 per cent obeyed orders. “We think that it is weakness in the ethical climate of the clinical workplace that ultimately serves to legitimise and reinforce unethical practices in the context of students learning intimate examinations,” writes Prof Rees.

The study consists of 200 students across three unnamed medical schools in Britain and Australia. Not all participants agreed to carry out the intimate examinations without permission from the patient.

One student refused to take part in an examination of a woman who was “part spread-eagled on the bed and the nurse is (sic) pulling down her jeans at the same time and it was all very complicated and you could see her, she was about seventeen”.
The problem isn't that scientists are intrinsically unethical, because a scientist can subscribe to an objective moral code as readily as anyone else. The problem is that because so many scientists reject morality and religion, they are consequentially unethical by choice. Needless to say, this does not bode well for Sam Harris's attempt to construct a morality on the basis of a morally neutral process.

The reason so many people were appalled by PZ Myers boasting of the scientific ability to drain the blood from dogs, behead small mammals, and view images of vivisected humans without remorse is that the obvious logical conclusion is that history teaches that most scientists are just as willing to gas Jews, freeze priests, and exsanguinate gays in the name of science and progress.

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