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生物医学威胁

剑桥——近几十年来的生物医学进步一直极其有益——最重要的是,使全世界穷人的预期寿命大幅增加。但未来看上去却更具危险性。尽管持续创新将进一步改善人民的生活,但也将带来新的威胁,并加剧某些有关人类生活本身的道德困境。

首先,某些科学家正在研究能使人更加长寿的越来越极端的方法。但尽管我们几乎肯定会欢迎延长健康寿命,但一旦我们的生活质量或者愈后低于某个特定阈值,我们也不会希望延长痛苦。我们害怕在痴呆症的折磨下延长寿命,并因此消耗资源而且成为别人的同情对象。

医学进步也模糊了生死之间的过渡。今天,当所有可以测量的大脑活动迹象停止时,死亡通常意味着“脑死亡”。但现在有人建议在“脑死亡”后人工重启心脏的跳动,目的是使可以用于移植的器官在更长的时间内能够保持“鲜活”。

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