Australian Utilitarian Idealism Reduced Hippocratic Oath


Commentary

The strangeness of the political and public health elite admitting the harm that the COVID-19 vaccine has done to many ordinary Australians, assuming we are still eager to live in a society dominated by rational standards. I have to try to explain the resistance.

Why did society as a whole accept the idea that it is okay to throw unhappy individuals under the bus of society in pursuit of abstract goals such as “public health” and “herd immunity”?

How these lofty but intangible objectives have overcome traditional concerns to minimize the harm to individuals caused by medical intervention is a question that needs an answer.

Originally, the medical community and the world have drawn nutrition from the long-standing principles of medical ethics, dating back to the ancient Hippocratic affirmation that “first of all, do no harm.”

To promote a humane medical ecosystem, when developing new drugs, we simultaneously pursue the two goals of maximizing the benefits of those suffering from illness and minimizing drug-related harm on the other. Was considered essential.

Of course, the history of medicine contains many unfortunate episodes in which these two goals are unbalanced, as human beings are rarely flawed in achieving the professed ideals.

Nevertheless, a common commitment to the equal importance of each purpose has created an ethically coherent environment that allows for gradual improvements in medical standards as well as drug safety and efficacy. ..

Basically, these advances were underpinned by the belief that each person’s life is important because there is something special about humans.

The well-being of humans, who prey on the harmful effects of drugs, was as deserving of effort and attention as the well-being of patients suffering from any illness that the drug aimed to alleviate.

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A father vaccinated with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Balgowlah, Sydney, Australia, on January 11, 2022, covers his son’s face. (Jenny Evans / Getty Images)

These beliefs also appreciated consent. Society may be interested in promoting intangible measures such as “public health”, but the harmful side effects of drugs are first experienced by lonely people, not society, so the final decision on whether an individual wants or not. Receive new drug treatment that is recognized as having the right to make decisions.

In the turbulent 1970s, this traditional idea emerged in Australia and challenged a radically different outlook that slowly began to reshape the medical environment.

It contained a small but voice cluster of philosophers trying to overturn the traditional belief that humans are special.

The movement, sometimes referred to as “Australian utilitarianism,” was first established at a public university under the leadership of candid thinkers such as Helga Kuhse and Peter Singer.

This movement soon became our strongest domestic export. Australian trained scholars who hold these views are now chairing prominent experts at some of the world’s top universities.

Of course, traditional utilitarianism is a tradition of Western philosophy that emphasizes maximizing human well-being as an ideal route to a good life.

However, the utilitarian ethics have undergone a major shift in the hands of radical Australian thinkers seeking to eradicate the traditional value system.

In the very Greco-Roman style, mere possession of “utility” (how useful a person is perceived to be useful to society as a whole) has become the preferred criterion used by the elite to measure the value of an individual. rice field.

Some are concerned that this new outlook may philosophically justify the official disregard of people with disabilities and those who are medically imperfect.

Indeed, older readers may recall how key supporters of Australian utilitarianism enjoyed easy access to public broadcasting media platforms in the 1970s and 1980s.

They go off the road to shock and anger traditional sensibilities by advocating the medicalized killing of genetically imperfect fetal, disabled newborns, or the elderly frail. It was like that.

Australia’s utilitarianism has placed the end of imperfect life at the forefront and center of its priorities, so this outlook has the mental and intellectual resources needed to take drug-induced harm seriously. I still didn’t know if it was.

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A small group of demonstrators representing both sides of the abortion issue gathered in front of the Supreme Court of Washington on November 29, 1989, and judges heard discussions in two abortion cases. (AFP via Greg Gibson / Getty Images)

Attack on Australian Utilitarian Tradition

The main “big idea” at the heart of Australia’s utilitarianism was the belief that cultural assumptions about “human expertise” were based on overdue religious beliefs.

Philosophers argued that many Australians stopped going to church in the 1960s, so why retain cultural practices based on abandoned beliefs?

Therefore, activist thinkers of this movement worked to reduce the “cultural heritage of Judaism and Christianity” by restoring lifestyle practices and attitudes that were prevalent in the pre-Christian world of Greco-Rome. started.

The unpainted title was selected for the 2002 book “Unsanctifying Human Life,” which includes an essay by the school’s leaders. They reveal a lot about their ambitions. Efforts to “dedicate” or “sanctify” human beings.

It promoted itself under the banner of progressiveism, but this aspect of Australian utilitarianism probably concealed a regressive and negative trend.

Calling for the “golden age” 2000 years ago, a primitive world lacking the value of human life and a deep commitment to something similar to modern life medical supplies such as clean hospitals, antibiotics and ambulances. Sowed the seeds of a crisis of trust in medical institutions that flourished during the utilitarian COVID era in Australia.

Another element of this story is how the movement brought to life a wide range of legislative agendas within Parliament centered on raising the “moral status” of “non-human animals.”

The traditional belief they claimed in “human peculiarities” was achieved at the expense of other species. Instead, we have to go back to the pre-Christian way of dealing with animals, the debate was carried out.

This included another sleight of hand, as Australian utilitarianism ignored the actual reality experienced by animals of ancient Greek and Roman culture.

The Roman arena was often crowded with bloodthirsty fans cheering for the sword-bearing gladiators’ slaughter of elephants, primates and tigers. This is a reality that offends Grib’s assumption that a world without the belief that humans are special is wonderful for animals. ..

Undoubtedly, some changes were triggered by Prof. Believers of the singer for decades since the 1980s were welcomed because they promoted a critical reassessment of some whimsical practices, including animals in agriculture, zoos and recreational facilities.

Impact of Australian Utilitarianism on Toxicology Research

But unfortunately, because we are in the process of learning, Australian utilitarianism has a clear drawback as it tends to be unfriendly to some important scientific disciplines.

Few people were as contemptuous as toxicology, a field of science that became more important after the thalidomide disaster in the early 1960s. The outbreak of thalidomide, a birth defect, was a shocking result of the human desire to rush to market a poorly tested drug.

Toxicology has matured in response to the birth of thousands of permanently injured babies. New scientific journals and societies have been established with the university’s toxicology department and degree program.

But from the perspective of the new Australian utilitarianism, toxicology was a bit suspicious.

The belief that new drugs and chemicals should be thoroughly tested for safety in rodents such as rats and mice before being released to humans was not accepted. Because such practices were based on the “speciesist” assumption. Only a prejudiced mind believes that humans are morally superior to rats and mice.

In line with the new outlook, from the mid-1980s, the Australian state government began to pass legislation that would significantly reduce the use of rodents in toxicology research.

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A female experimental assistant with a pair of mice injected with an extract of tuberculosis as part of a study to find an immune agent for tuberculosis in New York in 1949. (FPG / GettyImages)

After completing a PhD in toxicology abroad in 1993, when he returned to Australia, half a dozen exciting scientists who formed the core of the field of toxicology at Australian universities in the 1980s studied. I noticed that I finished early. ..

Most personally blamed the new regulatory system that made animal-based toxicology research impossible.

The entire generation of toxicology leadership has evaporated within the university, with disastrous consequences for the training of future scientists and students.

The resulting academic gap remains today, and our university is surprisingly vulnerable to scientific expertise, focusing on understanding and minimizing the harmful effects of chemicals on individual humans and populations. We are sure of our educational efforts.

Of course, that’s not all, but the unparalleled advantage of Australian utilitarianism among our intellectual elite is concerned about the toxic effects that mRNA vaccines clearly exert in some unfortunate Australia. It may explain why so few civil servants are embraced.

If the predominant worldview fails to maintain rigorous scientific thinking about the university’s toxic substances, the negative consequences for ordinary Australians can continue.

Sadly, indifference to the harm caused by the vaccine could remain as Australian as football, meat pie, kangaroos and Holden cars for the foreseeable future.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Philip Bertham

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Phil Burcham is an associate professor of medicine and pharmacology at the University of Western Australia. Burcham has over 30 years of experience in pharmacology and toxicology and is a postdoctoral fellow in molecular toxicology at Vanderbilt University in the United States. His research focus is primarily on acrolein, and he is currently looking to identify new drugs that block the toxicity of acrolein. Burcham was an editorial board member of Toxicology and Biochemical Pharmacology and was a basic member of the Toxicology subsection of Faculty 1000 (Biology).