Ail too temptingly it may be a leap to the opposite extreme: Let us consider the remaining four. Essential Features of an Acceptable Selection System A selection process for the choice of patients to receive lifesaving therapy will be acceptable only when the reasonableness of its component criteria can be established.
And this is so not just in the remote past but very much in our own day. We have had little preparatory background for accepting the realization that in some key aspects in the quality of life the best days may be behind us.
The basis for the system would be a point rating. It may be important for the progress of medical science and thus of potential benefit to many patients in the future to determine how effective the therapy at issue is with diabetics or persons over sixty or with a negative Rh factor.
But parity considerations of the sort just adduced indicate that such recognition should be given on grounds of equity. Now if the recent escalation of expectations in regard to the requisites of happiness were to continue unabated, then a tragic time of reckoning will come.
And here lies the slippery slope of the dangerous descent from antiscientism to antiintellectualism to irrationalism. But one may weil be skeptical about our ability to show equally good grace when the times comes to run down our banner emblazoned with Standard of Living. This new condition will engender a reversai of the ongoing escalation of expectations regarding the material conditions of life that is and long has been typical of Americans.
But when 9 ross insufficiency of places exists, when there are ten or fifty or one hundred candidates for each place in the program, then it is simply unrealistic to take the view that purely medical criteria can furnish a sufficient basis for selection.
We assume that the availability of human resources, mechanical instrumentalities, and requisite materials e. And the American people do not have a particularly good record for sensible action in a time of disappointed expectations.
No matter who does the selecting among patients recommended for dialysis, the feelings of the patient who has been rejected and knows it can be expected to be much the same, provided that he recognizes the The Allocation of Lifesaving Therapy actual nature of the choice and is not deceived by the possibly convenient but ultimately poisonous fiction that because the selection was made by physicians it was made entirely on strictly medical grounds.
Moral considerations would thus seem to demand recognition of these two factors. The capacity of technical progress to contribute to our unhappiness pollution, overcrowding, system breakdown is thus much greater than its potential for contributing to our happiness, which seems to turn in largedegree on factors like age and human especially familial relationships and social interactions that lie largely or wholly outside the manipulative range of science and technology.
But 3 the exact manner in which a rationally defensible system takes account of these factors cannat be fixed in any one specifie way on the basis of general considerations. Our faith in "progress" runs deep. This new condition will engender a reversai of the ongoing escalation of expectations regarding the material conditions of life that is and long has been typical of Americans.
Unpopular essays on technological progress.
[Nicholas Rescher] -- Annotation<div>Nicholas Rescher examines a number of controversial social issues using the intellectual tools of the philosopher, in an attempt to clarify some of the complexities of modern.
The University of Chicago Press. Books Division. Chicago Distribution Center. The essays give an unpopular message, but the essays themselves are written clearly, look at problems in new ways, and tread new ground in relevant philosophy for now and yesterday and tomorrow.
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Values and the Future; the Impact of Technological Change on American Values Baier, Kurt and Rescher, Nicholas () Scientific Progress: A Philosophical Essay on the Economics of Research in Natural Science .Unpopular essays on technological progress