March 1, 2024


 Confirmation that bioethics now has brand recognition comes with the mysterious appearance of several medical luminaries on Da Ali G Show, including the chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Edmund Pellegrino. Dr Pellegrino looks rather startled when Ali G (aka Borat) discusses whether old people should be killed. "Why is it the responsibility of the youth in Asia for killing someone else?" asks Ali earnestly. "Surely it’s between that patient and the doctor?" Hilarious stuff. Check it out on . (Thanks to

And speaking of Edmund Pellegrino: this month’s issue of Nature Biotechnology contains an interesting profile of the distinguished 86-year-old ethicist. A committed Catholic, and a former president of Catholic University of America, Dr Pellegrino has managed not to antagonise American scientists and bioethicists, as his predecessor, Leon Kass, did. He appeals to "natural law" and does not invoke religious arguments. "On the questions of assisted suicide or embryonic stem cell research, Pellegrino can give you reasons why they are morally wrong without necessarily mentioning any religious concept," says the journal admiringly.