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Dr Iain Brassington

Dr Iain Brassington was previously a Volunteer Writer at BioNews, and is a Lecturer in Bioethics at the University of Manchester's School of Law, where he is also Programme Director of the Intercalated MSc in Healthcare Ethics and Law. He has taught at Keele University's Centre for Professional Ethics and School of Medicine, at the University of Birmingham's Department of Philosophy and College of Medical and Dental Sciences, and at the University of Warwick's Department of Philosophy. Previously, he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Hull, and went on to obtain an MSc in Healthcare Ethics and subsequently his PhD from the University of Birmingham. He is author of Truth and Normativity: An Inquiry into the Basis of Everyday Moral Claims (buy this book from Amazon UK) and Public Health and Globalisation: Why a National Health Service is Morally Indefensible (buy this book from Amazon UK). He tweets as @Dr_Enzyme

BioNews Comment articles written by Dr Iain Brassington:
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Should Parliament vote to allow 'three-parent babies'?
2 February 2015 - by Dr Iain Brassington
It seems to have happened very quickly: it was only in 2012 that the public consultation process about allowing mitochondrial donation to be used on humans was underway; and now – if you'll allow the pun – the first child to have benefitted from them could be conceivable in the next few months... [Read More]
A small solution to a big problem
26 March 2012 - by Dr Iain Brassington
There's a part of 'Gulliver's Travels' where Gulliver visits the grand Academy at Lagado and finds one of the academicians trying to derive sunbeams from cucumbers. It's tempting to wonder at first glance whether there's something of the Academy to Liao, Sandberg and Roache's proposed strategy for combating climate change: that we could engineer human beings so they would be less of a drain on the environment... [Read More]

BioNews Review articles written by Dr Iain Brassington:
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Event Review: Have Your Say on Mitochondria Replacement (Manchester)
3 December 2012 - by Dr Iain Brassington
Under the law as it stands in the UK, only 'permitted' embryos may be implanted into a woman. Permitted embryos are those that have not been genetically modified, and are not formed from genetically modified gametes... [Read More]
Book Review: Future Human Evolution - Eugenics in the 21st Century
2 July 2012 - by Dr Iain Brassington
Back in my bar-tending days, we had as regular customers a small group of men who would spend the evening huddled around a table talking at volume about current affairs. We used to eavesdrop on their conversations: it was hard not to. For the most part, what they tended to say was robustly weird, with essays into the profoundly bizarre. Reading John Glad's 'Future Human Evolution', I couldn't help but think of them... [Read More]
Book Review: It Takes a Genome
13 September 2010 - by Dr Iain Brassington
I'll admit right from the start that I'm a bit of a waste of time when it comes to science: I dropped most of it at 14 in favour of Latin, and the remainder of my school science was taught by an ageing physicist who spent most of the following 18 months telling a very involved shaggy-dog story about an octopus and some bagpipes... [Read More]
Book Review: Choosing Tomorrow's Children - The Ethics of Selective Reproduction
7 June 2010 - by Dr Iain Brassington
To what extent is it permissible for people to choose for or against certain desired characteristics in their future children? There's a range of ways in which we might do this - for example, we might attempt to insert or delete a particular gene into or from a gamete prior to conception, or we might choose embryo C from the petri-dish over embryos A, B and D... [Read More]
Book Review: Enhancing Evolution - The Ethical Case for Making Better People
12 January 2010 - by Dr Iain Brassington
Quite understandably, eugenics got a bad name during the 20th century; and, in many people's minds, it is still associated with programmes of mass forced sterilisation and industrial killing. On the other hand, the project of 'improving' humanity - which is what eugenics is really about - doesn't have to demand these measures... [Read More]