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The Roots of BioethicsHealth, Progress, Technology, Death$
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Daniel Callahan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931378

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931378.001.0001

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Too Much of a Good Thing: How Splendid Technologies Can Go Wrong

Too Much of a Good Thing: How Splendid Technologies Can Go Wrong

Chapter:
(p.187) 15 Too Much of a Good Thing: How Splendid Technologies Can Go Wrong
Source:
The Roots of Bioethics
Author(s):

Daniel Callahan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931378.003.0015

The rising cost of health care and the rising number of automobiles pose for our society great problems and yet bring great benefits. They are central features of American life and demonstrate how hard it is to change social patterns that are deeply woven into our common life. Health care brings great health and social benefits: it can save our lives, reduce pain and suffering, and rehabilitate us if injured. Yet its heavy dependency on technology drives up the cost of care, so far uncontrolled. Automobiles give us mobility, pleasure, transportation, and allow us to commute to suburban towns if that is where we prefer to live. Yet, automobiles are a major cause of global warming and commuting to work by car is too often to spend excessive time in traffic jams. Efforts to change that pattern have generally failed, as have efforts to radically increase public transportation. Technological solutions have been offered for the healthcare and automobile problem, but so far none have had any striking effect.

Keywords:   automobiles, medical technology, environment, limits, culture

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