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Nature Research




Bioethics in the United States reflects US culture and tends to be pragmatic, market-oriented and insular. Add embryo politics to this mix and, over the past few years, the result has been a bioethics that has become so narrow and selfabsorbed as to be virtually irrelevant to the rest of the world. Not all the blame for this can be placed on President George W. Bush’s political agenda for his President’s Council on Bioethics, now in its third year of operation, but much can. The council has made public bioethics the servant of politics by pursuing a narrow, embryo-centric agenda. More remarkably, although the attacks of 11 September 2001 changed almost everything in the US government, the bioethics council — and bioethics in general — were strangely unaffected.

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