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Now. What is important what it does. My role too I believe to exercise here is that this pragmatic attitude. Will change with time. For example. Even the most permissive advocates of a book from will probably become. More conservative when its the progress of medical technologies. The neighborhood's physicians to provide the very young embryo. With conditions suitable for complete development at that time. The ethics of abortion will certainly have to be considered and similarly. I believe. New criteria of death. For the selection of donors and plants plant. Surgery. Will be imposed on surgeons. When it becomes possible for example to cut back to disturbances of brain function which today appear
to us first of all and therefore have been accepted by most of the body including the pope. Collectively I'm of the. Now let me. Turn to the man in society. No human being can exist alone. And. Not develop. Biology. All mentally. Normal retain. Biological. And mental health. Unless he functions. And better unless he's integrated. Within the human group. So that you practice if you want to. Deal with the concept of the sink the key of life. We have to concern ourselves. Not only with the individual.
But with the person as a member of a group. It is impossible to speak of life without thinking of the group. And I do believe. That all problems of. Medical ethics. As well as of other kinds of ethics. Must take into consideration at the same time. The unique ness. Of the individual person. But also the imperatives. That. Are involved. In the survival. And welfare. Of the group. I think these conflicting demands. Of. Individual freedom. And of community structure.
At the basis of or ethical problems. In sociology. And in biology. And I shall know by to be. Perhaps a little explicit about what. I have called the magickal. Limitations. Send them angels to free them. We all know. That it is possible. Behavior. The administration of the. Over by all sorts of. Tactics of. Psychological conditioning. Or force me. I'm not quite as. Bad these problems. As most of you. And.
Most of the persons who discuss. Problems of human freedom. Not just because. In practice. You know most difficult. To limit the modern techniques for behavior for. When applied continuously. On large masses of individuals. One thing that reassures me about the future of the human condition is that whenever we produce systematically any kind of condition through drugs or. Through. Psychological technique. A sufficient number of human beings become aware of it and that I'd bet against it that the program collapsed and I think they will collapse. I don't think that's where. The
danger but something which is happening all the time. Which has happened all the time and which I believe. No black and white. Is that. The talk of course is the total environment. Conditions shapes. Human mentality as well. As it does before. The biological characteristics. I think that has always happened. I think. In this biological necessity because this is what. Living socially means. That when it's condition. Functioning within the group. So that I don't see
any escape from the fact. That the human mentality. Will continue to be many. By the same kind of social methods. That have been used in the past that go all the way from. Parent Training to. Customs education. All societies shape the mentality. Of their members. Because this is an absolute biological necessity for social survival and therefore for survival. Of the individual person. What has happened is that all these has been done in the past. More or less and consciously or not always and consciously as we well know. And it has been done to the good. Because. It's. Due to the fact that they have so
many different kinds of techniques. Of conditioning human beings. That we have arrived. Throughout history. The existence of such an astounding way. Of cultural types. Of cultures and civilizations. All made. Out. Of the common gene. Of mankind. I wish I could. Introduce here. Discussion. Of the place of free will. In the universe or conditioning. That I accept as a part of man's nature. I cannot do it fortunately for lack of time. But. In truth because I will know how to do it. I happen to be to
believe in clear way. For no. Reason that I can give you. I do believe that any given time of my life. I decide. What I want to do. The attitude that I felt. So I do believe in free will. If that sum. Of human life. But. I believe. This is a kind of. Attitude that implies something similar to. Neil's book complementarity in physics. I do believe. That at any given time of my existence and here I speak about myself. Because it's in terms of language but that applies to your cat as well as to yourself. At any given time of my
existence. I have been conditioned. In an irreversible manner. By. That which I have experienced in the past. Single experience. Physiological. As well as mental. Organism in a reversible manner I think. Evidence for that. Is overwhelming. Whether you look for. The kind of evidence the physiologists. Can uncover. Or the kind of evidence that each one of us. Can place in his own life the fact that I was born and raised in France. Will never disappear from my life nor do I want to. Even though I have been by very far the longest part. Of my life and a very happy and
successful life. In the United States. At any moment of our life. We face every new situation. With that which we have acquired and cannot get rid of. But I also believe that at any moment of our life. We can use of these. Stories of a community the experiences. To decide where we are going to go next. And that by the way creates a new kind of intergovernmental situation which. Modifies so. You may sense in this that. I'm half way between existentialist philosophy and complete freedom. Of decisions based on projecting oneself. Into the future. Influences that act on us. Base no doubt. Absolutely
no doubt that the most important is that the. At the very beginning. Only now do we begin to know. But it's easy to demonstrate. That the events of uterine life. Do condition what the person will become. And. The fact that the first four years of life. Conditions. Or attitudes of the human being for the future. He's. Perhaps the most important practical aspect. Of our national life because it's so obviously related to the problem of underprivileged communities not only the Negro population. But for underprivileged people. In this country and the world over.
For example the new you. Are. Just an example. And one can say. That even a child. Born and raised in the ghetto. Has as much freedom. As a child born and raised. Under better. Circumstances. Admittedly. The right. To choose. I think the given time. But the great difference. Is that he can't think he approaches. His decision. With. Any equipment. Which he has received from his ghetto culture. And which will make him. Act differently from what he would do if he had been brought up. In another culture. Notice that I have used. The word ghetto culture. Because. It's an
error. To think. That the ghetto environment does not. Provide the culture. Which conditions the child. What it is to impose on. The kind of culture which in some way. Makes it very difficult. Or to leave. Civilization. Now. I. Made a statement and here I'm beginning to argue with him. In fact there are several places what I said. Implied disagreements with your professor brothers or at least some interpretations of facts. That what we suffer and what the young people protest again against is that. So so many parades them. Well first of all let me restate that I believe society has
always meant equally human beings. And I'll go a little further. I think companies point of view are better situated. Then we would have been. If we had been brought in a culture. Of. 17th century culture on the Navajo reservation. Because I have an impression that I have societies. Which admittedly many of us. But. First so to speak so many different kinds of many similar tiniest manipulation. That the east is slightly better chance. For option. If we do elect to take advantage. Of the multiple. Kinds of manipulation that occur are similar tenuously. In.
The. Environment. What to the last point I wish to. I don't know which I. Want to organize. The contrast. The conflict between individual and soft. Aspects of life. The world. Symbolized. The. Way. If phrases introduced by a woman with. Five or ten years ago. Its individual versus the testicle morality thing. The physicians. Try to operate. Within the teachings of the he pocketed. Most of those teachings are still
valid today. But. Notice. That the he pocketed. The years. Almost exclusively and for that matter so do he pocket the writings with no relation or. Position to his patient. No that was justified in the past. Because. Of the effectiveness. Of medical techniques and berthing they were far greater than what we give them credit. For. But they were limited. The physician could do something that affected his patient. But could do very little. But that quickly. The whole community. I think this is where a profound change has occurred.
That modern medical biomedical technology. Can Now effect. The population as a whole. And successive generations. So that it seems to me that the very effectiveness of modern medicine. Will require that individual morality be supplemented by a statistical morality. In other words that the physician ask himself. If. I do a piece about the consequences. For society as a whole. And interestingly enough we are beginning to see societies. Cannot develop software and mechanisms to deal with these complex problems. I shall take only one. Dr. DeBakey certainly will. Have more concrete things to say
about this problem than I can. The problem of renal dialysis which and questionably is a very effective technique. But which is a very costly one that can be applied only to a limited number of patients that could not possibly with the present state of the art be applied to all persons that could benefit from it. And what we are seeing all over the country is that the decision as to who should or should not get. Renal dialysis. Winning committees consisting of physicians legal people ministers of the church. And a lot of focus we are beginning. To develop. Social mechanisms whereby we.
Deal with the problems. Of. Collective of consequences for the collective of medical action. We are trying to deal with. It kind of ethics. Which goes beyond. The kind of ethics of the Hippocratic Oath which is concerned when he with a physician or doctor relationship. So. To conclude. I have no doubt. That from No. Ira's. Medical intervention becomes more effective. And this gracefully teasing to many more people and into subsequent generations through the. Facilitating the survival of genetically deficient person.
All problems of ethics. Will have to deal simmer tenuously any sort of complimentary manner for the rights of the individual and the rights. Of society. In this light I convinced. That the medical ethics. Will come to be reconsidered. But consider that we gave very weighty that in the light. Of. Economics. But the larger. Statement. Of the message I have tried to convey to you in the sort of blundering way. Is that all problems of human existence. That. Incorporate complimentary characteristics of human nature. These individual uniqueness. And need biology need for integration. In its source or
group. The medical problems of the individual patient. Cannot be dissociated from the source or problems of the community. He saw a narrow technical approach to medical problems. Caused to mind Captain haps remark in Moby Dick. Or on my memes saying that my object is mad. I am. I am You've been listening to Dr and I need to draw a microbiologist and author from Rockefeller University as he discussed the biological limitations of freedom. That's like chair was part of the man and value of life symposium sponsored by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine as one of the special programs highlighting the university's sesquicentennial celebration. Next week two distinguished
lecturers Dr. Michael DeBakey well-known heart transplant surgeon from Baylor University will offer a medical perspective on man and the value of life and the Right Reverend Roger W. Blanchard bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of southern Ohio will present a religious perspective of the topic. These programs were produced at the University of Cincinnati station WAGA U.S. and distributed by the national educational radio network.
Man and the value of life
Episode Number
#2 (Reel 2)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Identifier: 69-22-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:23:32
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Chicago: “Man and the value of life; #2 (Reel 2),” 1969-04-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “Man and the value of life; #2 (Reel 2).” 1969-04-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Man and the value of life; #2 (Reel 2). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from