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UNIT 16:

PROTECTING FUTURE GENERATIONS

 

OUTLINE OF THE SYLLABUS

1. Why care about the future?

a. contexts of concern
b. contemporary sensibility towards future generations

2. The scope and limits of future related responsibilities

a. Intergenerational; distant generations, all unborn generations?
b. Human or non-human species?

3. Do we have obligations to the possible people of the future?

4. How to represent the future in present decision-making?

 

5. Healthcare and future generations

a. Prescription of medication without any rationale (e.g. antibiotics, etc.) is a threat to future generations – long-term effects of medicine
b. Xenotransplantation
c. Genetically modified food
d. Germ-line genetic interventions

6. Precautionary Principle

 
FILM: A civil action / (S. Zaillian, 1998)

Synopsis
Lawyer Jan Schlichtmann is addressed by a group of families to attend a seemingly non-profiting case. In the course of investigation, he finds it to be a major environmental issue that has a lot of impact potential. A leather production company could be responsible for several deadly cases of leukemia, but also is the main employer for the area. Based on a true story.

 
 
 
FILM: Erin Brokovich / (S. Soderberg, 2000)

Synopsis
An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and begins to investigate a suspicious real estate case involving the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. What she discovers is that the company is trying quietly to buy land that was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a deadly toxic waste that the company is improperly and illegally dumping and, in turn, poisoning the residents in the area.