Genetically Modified Life: Science, Ethics and Medical Innovation The 2016-17 Bioethics Project theme was Genetically Modified Life: Science, Ethics and Medical Innovation. The students' work began in the first trimester, where faculty from both The Ethics Institute and The Hastings Center provided the students with an intensive introduction to ethics, bioethics and advanced study of the ethics of medical decision-making, genetics and medical innovation. Topics explored included: organ donation, genetic engineering, eugenics, embryo selection using PGD, CRISPR and genetic editing. Throughout the second and third trimesters, students worked on their individual research projects through collaboration with Kent Place faculty and Hastings Center research assistants, who served as mentors. Symposium topics included: genetics and medical innovation, such as the genetics of intelligence, challenges associated with genome sequencing and genetically modifying cells.
The Bioethics Project 2015-2016 focused on questions related to ethical issues in medical decision making and the human lifespan. Topics which explored included medically assisted suicide, quality of life, extending life expectancy and health care decisions at the latter end of the lifespan.
The Genetic Self: Questioning the Role of Genetics in Modern Society This project focused on questions related to ethical issues in genetics, including genetic testing in medicine, ancestry identification, food, forensics and more. Should we test for genetic diseases for which we have no cure? What are the ethical issues associated with pre-symptom treatment for genetic diseases? Under what conditions should genetic screening occur in reproduction? What are the ethical issues associated with consuming genetically modified foods?
Donor: What is the Value of the Human Body? More now than ever before, science has given us the capacity to transplant, donate, or trade portions of the human body. Under the mentorship from mentors at The Hastings Center and faculty from Kent Place School, students from Kent Place researched ethical issues associated with a range of topics. Student research areas included qualifications for blood donors, organ transplants for prison inmates, facial transplants, kidney markets, xenotransplantation, embryo adoption, anencephalic infants as donors, and compliance requirements for transplant recipients. CLICK HERE to view the 2013-2014 Bioethics Project website.
The Medically Modified Human: Is Better Always Good? From cosmetic surgery to sports doping to memory enhancement, medicine is pushing the boundaries of human capabilities. In this inaugural year of The Bioethics Project, students from Kent Place School, in conjunction with scholars from The Hastings Center, researched the ethical issues raised by the use of medicine to modify human bodies. Topics included prolonging life, memory enhancement, cosmetic surgery, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, infants as intersex patients and more. CLICK HERE to view the 2012-13 website.
The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School is a first-of-its-kind institute at the primary and secondary school level. We believe that promoting the process and practice of ethical thinking and decision-making prepares people of all ages to be effective leaders and compassionate citizens.