Ethics and the Business of Bioscience

Ethics and the Business of Bioscience

Ethics and the Business of Bioscience

Ethics and the Business of Bioscience

Synopsis

Businesses that produce bioscience products- gene tests and therapies, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and medical devices- are regularly confronted with ethical issues concerning these technologies. Conflicts exist between those who support advancements in bioscience and those who fear the consequences of unfettered scientific license. As the debate surrounding bioscience grows, it will be increasingly important for business managers to consider the larger consequences of their work. This groundbreaking book follows industry research, development, and marketing of medical and bioscience products across a variety of fields, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and bio-agriculture. Compelling and current case studies highlight the ethical decisions business managers frequently face. With the increasing visibility and public expectation placed on businesses in this sector, managers need to understand the ethical and social issues. This book addresses that need and provides a framework for incorporating ethical analysis in business decision making.

Excerpt

Questions about the ethical nature of business activity have existed for ages. Perhaps the first business ethics case study question was posed by the Roman orator and statesman Cicero (106–43 BCE). In “A Practical Code of Behavior (On Duties III),” he posed the following case to foster a discussion about the proper course of action when a businessman is confronted with a conflict between doing what is personally advantageous and what is right:

Suppose that there is a food-shortage and famine at Rhodes, and the price
of corn is extremely high. An honest man has brought the Rhodians a large
stock of corn from Alexandria. He is aware that a number of other traders are
on their way from Alexandria—he has seen their ships making for Rhodes,
with substantial cargoes of grain. Ought he to tell the Rhodians this? Or
is he to say nothing and sell his stock at the best price he can get? I am
assuming he is an enlightened, honest person. I am asking you to consider
the deliberations and self-searchings of the sort of man who would not
keep the Rhodians in ignorance if he thought this would be dishonest but
who is not certain that dishonesty would be involved.

—From: “Cicero, Selected Works,” translated by Michael Grant,
Penguin Books, 1971 . . .

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