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| BIOETHICS - BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE VAN RENSSELAER POTTER PRENTICE-HALL BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE SERIES Carl P. Swanson, editor BIOETHICS BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE Van Rensselaer Potter Professor of Oncology and Assistant Director McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research Medical School, University of Wisconsin INC, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey Sections in Chapters 2 and 7 are quoted from The Phenomenon of Man by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, copyright 1955 by Editions dé Seuil,-Paris. Copyright © 1959 in the English trans- lation by Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., London and Harper and Row, Publishers, New York. By permission of the pub- lishers. © 1971 by PRENTICE-HALL, INC., Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Alll rights reseryed. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writin, from the publisher. : Current printing (last digit): ORS NS ale Ole Std ms) 2) C—13-076513-9 i P—13-076505-8 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 72-149060 Printed in the United States of America This book is dedicated to the memory of ALpo LEOPOLD, who anticipated the extension of ethics to Bioethics: The first ethics dealt with the relation between individuals; the Mosaic Decalogue is an example. Later accretions dealt with the relation between the individual and society. The Golden Rule tries to integrate the individual to society; democracy to integrate social organization to the individual. There is as yet no ethic dealing with man’s relation to land and to the animals and plants which grow upon it. Land, like Odysseus’ slavegirls, is still property. The land-relation is still strictly economic, entailing privileges but not obligations. The extension of ethics to this third element in human environ- ment is, if I read the evidence correctly, an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity. It is the third step in a sequence. The first two have already been taken. Individual thinkers since the days of Ezekiel and Isaiah have asserted that the despoliation of land is not only inexpedient but wrong. Society, however, has not yet affirmed their belicf. I regard the present conservation movement as the em- bryo of such an affirmation. An ethic may be regarded as a mode of guidance for meeting ecological situations so new or intricate, or involving such deferred reactions, that the path of social expediency is not discernible to the average individual. Animal instincts are modes of guidance for the individual in meeting such situations. Ethics are possibly a kind of community instinct in-the-making. Quoted with permission of the copyright owners from A Sand County Almanac, with other essays on conservation from Round River, pp. 218-219 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1949, 1953, 1966).