The Bioethics Discussion Group, Seven year plan (Feb 2018)

So far as any of us can see that far out, below is my draft schedule of topics for the initial seven years of this group’s existence. Things may change, they may not work out, but for now here are my ambitions.


Year 1, 2017 – 2018.

001. First, do no harm. A discussion concerning the basis of care.

002. Organ and body donations. A discussion on the give and take of our very selves.

003. Human experimentation. A discussion testing the limits of testing ourselves.

004. Big data, little privacy. A discussion on the shape of things to come.

005. Universal healthcare. A discussion on the (inevitable?) end of medicine.

006. Family in medicine. A discussion on love, blood, and responsibility.

007. Death. A discussion on our ends.

008. Abortion. A discussion “going there” respectfully.

009. Assisted reproduction. A discussion for the bravest in the new world.

010. Prenatal screening. A discussion on early look and tough decisions.

011. Genetic manipulation. A discussion on changing our codes.

012. LGBTQ health. A discussion including inclusion and finding ourselves.

013. Vaccination. A discussion on public health and individual choice.

014. Regulation. A discussion about the maze and the pathway.

015. Posthumanity. A discussion on our end.


Year 2, 2018 – 2019.

016. Neuroethics. A discussion on the origins of our moral situation.

017. Drugs. A discussion on the manipulation of our biochemical status.

018. Alternative medicine. A discussion at the boundaries of the medical sciences.

019. Zombies. A discussion of the living, the dead, and those in between.

020. Cloning. A discussion coping with copying, seeing double, and creating anew.

021. Animal experimentation. A discussion testing the limitations of our testing limitations.

022. Suicide. A discussion on our (chosen?) ends.

023. Race. A discussion on (in)equality that’s more than skin deep.

024. Gender. A discussion on who we are, who society sees, and who we want to be.

025. Circumcision. A discussion on health, tradition, and mutilation.

026. Pain. A discussion on what we (don’t want to) feel.

027. Mental health. A discussion on our internal (dys)functions.

028. Eugenics. A discussion on who ought to be here.

029. Replicability of medical studies. A discussion on the significance of our results.

030. Extinction. A discussion on our (inevitable?) ends.


Year 3, 2019 – 2020.

031. Self. A discussion on us by us.

032. Body/modification. A discussion on distorted selves and distorting selves.

033. Body/art. A discussion on aesthetics.

034. Fear. On discussion past where we dare to tread.

035. Body/politics. A discussion on government.

036. CitiesA discussion on our new environment.

037. AntinatalismA discussion on the end to our means.

038. Others. A discussion on us and them, but mostly them.

039. MichiganA discussion on our state.

040. LoveA discussion on the chemistry of our biology.

041. Overpopulation. A discussion on one too many.

042. Public health. A discussion on the health of our society.

043. Solitude. A discussion on who we are when we are alone.

044. Responsibility. A discussion on what we owe to ourselves and others.

045. History. A discussion on the means to our ends.


Year 4, 2020 – 2021.

046. The theory of mind. A discussion on what we think others think.

047. Artificial intelligence. A discussion just like the one we would have had, but by computers.

048. Artificial parts. A discussion on what’s replaceable. 

049. Dia de los Meurtos. A discussion on the celebration of the living and the dead.

050. Democracy. A discussion we will choose to have.

051. The coming administration. A discussion on our (new?) government.

052. Annihilation. A discussion on our obliteration.

053. The madness of crowdsA discussion on popular delusions.

054. Population control. A discussion on limiting ourselves.

055. Sex. A discussion on what we do.

056. Artificial life. A discussion on new forms.

057. Immortality. A discussion on our (prolonged) end.

058. Accidents. A discussion we weren’t meant to have.

059. Virtual reality. A discussion just like the one we would have had, but also by computers.

060. Abdication. A discussion on our renunciation. 


Year 5, 2021 – 2022.

061. Identity. A discussion on who we see(m).

062. WarA discussion on who we fight.

063. (Dis)(ability). A discussion on where to place emphasis and when to just let be.

064. Disgust. A discussion somewhere between nausea and a dry heave.

065. Disenfranchisement. A discussion on the deprived. 

066. Meat. A discussion on what we eat.

067. Loss. A discussion on what we have.

068. Discovery. A discussion on what we find.

069. BoundariesA discussion on where we go.

070. ConsentA discussion we agree to.

071. Creation. A discussion on what we make.

072. CyclesA discussion on what what happens over and over and over.

073. Addiction. A discussion we (can’t) quit.

074. Recognition. A discussion to be heard.

075. RedemptionA discussion on what we save.


Year 6, 2022 – 2023.

076. Reason. A discussion on how we know what we know (and why).

077. Pseudoscience. A discussion on fads, fallacies, and bullshit.

078. The causes and cures of cancer. A discussion on what we have.

079. Brains in vats. A discussion on how we know (we aren’t).

080. Religion. A discussion on what we believe.

081. Charity. A discussion on what we give.

082. Doubt. A discussion on what we have.

083. Truth. A discussion on what we know.

084. LiesA discussion on trust.

085. EmotionA discussion on what we feel (in our heart).

086. Evolution. A discussion ever the same, ever changing.

087. Intuition. A discussion on what we feel (in our gut).

088. Advocacy. A discussion on behalf of others (and its implications).

089. Regression. A discussion on where we end up.

090. Solace. A consolation.


Year 7, 2023 – 2024.

091. The human condition. A discussion on what we go through.

092. Birth. A discussion on where we begin.

093. Trauma. A discussion on the worst of it.

094. Cadavers. A discussion on where we end.

095. CorporationsA discussion on bodily groups and groups of bodies.

096. Aging. A discussion on time’s arrow, time’s anchor.

097. Sadness. A discussion on feeling: bad.

098. Happiness. A discussion on feeling: good.

099. RandomnessAn unpredictable discussion? 

100. Empathy. A discussion on how we relate.

101. Obligation. A discussion we owe to ourselves and others.

102. Virtue. A discussion on the best of us.

103. Absurdity. A discussion on the truth of the matter.

104. Repetition. A discussion on a discussion on a discussion on…

105. The biomedical condition. A discussion on who we are.