We are currently in an professional environment where research-driven process is not being balanced by common sense. Even with all its failings there should always be a place for the dissenting voice born through experience to keep in check the march of the technocrat born through academic research.
How many Parliamentarians who will shortly debate the Falconer Bill on assisted suicide are people with wide enough life experience to empathise with those who see more choice as a threat and not a blessing? How many subscribers to the BMJ put themselves, day by day, into the shoes of people for whom consumer choice is someone else's luxury, even if their editor chooses to use his journalistic position to make a ruling on behalf of ethicists everywhere?
A physician is supposed to be a healer. Helping patients is so central to the profession's ideal that newly minted doctors take an oath to "do no harm". As a medical student, I look forward to the unique honour and responsibility of taking care of patients; but I'm also conscious of - and frightened by - a darker side of medical history.
Walking into the room, I saw eight people - predominantly doctors - and I could tell that at least five had already made up their minds to reject the project. It started predictably: "Well, we have spent a lot of time discussing this very interesting project, but have some significant concerns." That was why I was there - to allay their fears and get on with this important project. That was not to be.
If someone said they found interracial marriages or gay sex disgusting and believed it should be banned for this reason, would you take them seriously? I thought not, yet Eleanor Mills in The Sunday Times believes that a sensible way to handle the sensitive legal and ethical issues surrounding assisted reproduction is to base it on her own gut reaction to such practices.
Fasting has been common throughout history . It is the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. It is often used as a method of non-violent resistance to effect political change. Famous fasts include the forty hour fast by World Vision to bring awareness to poverty and hunger around the world. Mohandas K. Gandhi conducted several prolonged fasts as effective political and social protests.