Saturday, March 31, 2012

Willard Gaylin and Bioethics

While bioethics has been a topic of discussion from ancient times it was only in the 60's and 70's that it developed as the discipline it is today. It's beginning point in modern times was considered to be a question by a Pope about the ability of anesthetists to prolong life. Some have indeed argued that bioethics has arisen out of the fear of technology which was predated by the fear of science itself.
Willard Gaylin is a psychiatrist who with Daniel Callahan created the Hastings Centre in 1969. The Hastings Centre was dedicated to bioethics and the interest of the patient and bioethics and public policy.  Willard Gaylin obtained his BA from Harvard, his MD from Case Western Reserve University and became a psychoanalyst. He was a clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia Medical School, Professor of Psychiatry and Law at Columbia Law School and an Adjunct Professor at Union Theological Seminary.
He is quoted in the movie Gattaca, the best movie to date on the discussion of the place of applied genetics in society.  "I not only think that we will tamper with Mother Nature, I think she wants us to."
He has written some 20 books. 2003 he wrote Perversion of Autonomy, Coercion and Constraints in a Liberal Society. He also wrote "How Psychotherapy Really Works".

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