035. Body/politics

A discussion on government.


Questions to ponder

  1. Who are you and does the government care?
  2. What are the proper roles of a government to the health/wealth of the governed?
  3. “The most vocal contributions to the ethical debates, Takala (2017) says, “tend to be either strongly against or adamantly for the new technologies. This tendency is furthered by the popular media, which prefers headline material.” Does the sensational tend to senses? Does it tend to “make sense”?
  4. “Research is suggesting,” Rich & Evans (2005) suggest “that people are obtaining health information not just from traditional medical sources but from newspapers, magazines, television etc.” Should the government regulate the transmission of medical/health information from these sources? 
  5. Politics in just about any context seems to be divisive, eliciting strong emotions and lowered rationales. How can we effectively discuss politics?
  6. Why/Are women’s bodies disproportionally controlled by governments?
  7. What legitimate interest does a government/state have in the health of its population? To whom can you appeal if a State is genuinely bad for your health?
  8. HUD Secretary Julian Castro recently remarked in a debate, “[J]ust because a woman — or let’s also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female — is poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise that right to choose. And so I absolutely would cover the right to have an abortion.” Should trans females have the right to have an abortion?
  9. Inherent to the practice of government is the (at least veiled) threat of “legitimated” violence – e.g., don’t pay your taxes, get brought to court; run from the police, get tazed by them; hurt someone, get hurt back. How do we ensure that such threats of/violence is indeed legitimate? How do we ensure it is righteous?
  10. What, if anything, should the government do on the following debated topics:
    • Compulsory vaccination of children;
    • Healthcare in general;
    • Homelessness;
    • Recreational drug use;
    • Right-to-try regulations; and
    • Right-to-die legislation?
  11. In the “heartbeat bill” (H.B. 481, “Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act”), the state Georgia amended its Official Code to create “two classes of persons: natural and artificial” in which natural persons are any human being “including an unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat”. Do you believe a heartbeat – “cardiac activity or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the heart” – a proper measure of the beginning of life? The end? How should a government demarcate?
  12. Was Thích Quảng Đức’s self-immolation of a legitimate use of political influence?
  13. Do we have more bodily liberty now than we have in the past? Will we have more in the future? In what ways? How do you know?
  14. Is our nation on the rise or the decline? 

 


Essays to consider

  1. Bioethics as Politics
  2. ‘Fat Ethics’: The Obesity Discourse and Body Politics
  3. HB 481  
  4. A Man, Burning: Communicative Suffering and the Ethics of Images