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Book and Media Reviews
January 17, 2007

Technology, Ethics

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2007;297(3):317-321. doi:10.1001/jama.297.3.318

Technological change generates social tensions. It disrupts patterns of established responses developed to cope with needs and problems. It leads to re-evaluating and sometimes changing the moral norms governing attitudes and behaviors, which no longer can adequately steer the novel actions made possible by technology. What is more, these new possibilities generally require increased levels of expenditure, which in turn produce a need for complicated cost-benefit evaluations. The faster the pace of technological innovation, the more we reach out for and need new ways to forge a relation between things now possible and things now past. But doing this is enormously difficult.