[ExI] Medical power of attorney for cryonicsts

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sun Dec 7 00:30:36 UTC 2014

spike <spike66 at att.net> , 6/12/2014 10:44 PM:

 >…Ha! Autonomy easy and uncontroversial? It is a nightmare.
There is so much in this post, I just thank evolution once more that I decided to not go to med school.

Dr Jones... I can totally imagine that parallel world version of you. I think you might have been pretty successful. 

>…What about parents right to do things with the bodies of kids (like circumcision or vaccination) when the kid is not yet fully autonomous? And so on...
Oy, great example, thanks.  When my son was born, it turned into a huge crisis, the family insisted on his being circumcised, I flatly refused, citing that it is his foreskin, so it is his decision.  Against universal opposition, I had to pull rank on the whole family, being the dad.  I won that one, 20 to 1, with me being the 1.  Did I do the right thing?  I think so.  
I don’t understand why western minds seem to experience no cognitive dissonance when they hear themselves say that circumcision is wrong for non-consenting females but perfectly OK for non-consenting males.  The hell with that!  My sense of ethics tells me that infant circumcision is wrong cubed.

Exactly! This is a fine example where medical ethicists actually find themselves mostly on the opposite side from the public. My colleague Brian Earp has written a fair bit on circumcision ethics, and the case is rather clear: removing functional tissue from babies without their consent to denote tribal membership goes against plenty of standard medical ethics. Gender does not matter. If one accepts male circumcision as OK, then there are forms of female circumcision that are OK (not all are mutilation) - but these arguments are totally not accepted by the public in places like the US. There are rather few pro-circumcision ethicists (a bit like how economists tend to come down way more free market and migration friendly than the public). 

>…Most of the time ethics is easy: don't be a dick…
The modern restatement of the golden rule, ja.  

Works pretty well most of the time. 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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