Text topic: Film and Philosophy
- Star Trek
Text author: Војин Ракић и Предраг Крстић
This article raises the following questions: will the problems that are being addressed by contemporary medical ethics and bioethics change in the time to come and will their current conceptual frameworks become outdated or will imminent technological and social developments pose new challenges that will not have to be answered by the adoption of entirely new ethical concepts? These issues are being addressed on the basis of the materials that are offered to us by the science fiction serial Star Trek, which is taken as representative of the future. Special attention is given to one of its episodes (called Ethics), an episode that appears to test the physician-patient relationship, the conduct of medical research and the use of its results, the right to assisted suicide, as well as other traditions of moral thinking in medicine in the light of their future status. The moral dilemmas of this futuristic story appear strikingly similar to those we face nowadays. Moreover, it is apparently impossible to imagine a different discourse, in spite of the fact that characters and their environment in the story are very different from those we are acquainted with in real life. Hence, it can be concluded that moral problems related to scientific and medical problems from the future, if at all imaginable, are unlikely to differ substantially from the ones we currently know. In other words, new bio-technological developments might only radicalize some ethical questions, but the answers to them and the arguments in favour of their (un)acceptability appear available already.