The Ideas of the 1%

The Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, Oakland, Atlanta, Chicago, and elsewhere have made headlines the last several weeks.  I don’t really know if only 1% of the populace controls the majority of wealth in America.  But the “1% Hypothesis” makes you think about the influencers in the field of bioethics.  The number of Christian bioethicists influencing American bioethics probably is greater than 1% but it is still small.  When considering bioethical views in the general populace on subjects like abortion, euthanasia, and stem cell research, one might make the case that secular bioethics leadership as exemplified by the ASBH, Penn, Stanford, Case Western and others may be a minority view in the U.S. as a whole.   However, whether a minority view or not, these positions drive the practices of American medicine.  For instance, there is no doubt that euthanasia is gaining momentum in the U.S.  This is reflected in the assisted-suicide practices in places like Oregon, Washington, and Montana and the fact that the idea has become commonplace on medical school campuses.  But what are the actual numbers, do you think?  Is 1% calling the shots?

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