Prof. UwB dr hab. Anetta Breczko
University of Białystok
English abstract: The paper discusses issues tied to technological progress in the field of medicine, with respect to the categories of: “interest of the individual”, “common good” and “public interest”. The author attempts to present potential moral and legal threats that can result from the application of the latest medical technologies. The paper points out fundamental problems related to technology, medicine, law, and ethics. The analysis performed by the author shows that the technological methods for “human enhancement” can yield great benefits not only from the standpoint of individual interests of patients, but also in the context of the common good and public interest. On the other hand, the transhumanist dreams of the “bionic man” (the “perfect man”) collide with the current global situation, related to the coronavirus pandemic. The noticeable inefficiency of the healthcare system in that respect breeds doubts whether it will be possible, in the short-term perspective, to push back diseases and postpone the moment of death. It is important for the public interest to be understood properly: as the embodiment of the common good (that is, as a kind of a common denominator for the society), and not as the instrument for the fulfilment of the particular goals of the ruling majority. The development of civilization must be based on the universal, common values developed in the European culture. Technological progress in medicine should be accompanied by rational debate on its social costs and by genuine assessment or risks and threats (in the individual, social, civilizationational and cultural dimensions). Such debate is indispensable for the common good.
Keywords: interest of the individual, common good, public interest, health, medicine, technological progress
Published: Number 3(24)/2020, pp. 41-52.
Number of downloads: 95