New paper co-authored by Elena Popa
Elena Popa from INCET and Jakub Zawiła-Niedźwiecki along with Michał Zabdyr-Jamróz published a new article: “Policy change without ethical analysis? Commentary on the publication of Smajdo” in Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics . This paper is a part of the Values, Trust, and Decision Making in Public Health project.
We are writing in response to the article ‘Whole Body Gestational Donation’ by Anna Smajdor , in the spirit of the special issue in which it was published: as an example of an ‘outrageous argument’ meant to prompt reflection on previously unexamined assumptions in bioethics . This letter is intended not only as a commentary on the merits of Smajdor's proposition and argumentation, but also as an indication of what we see as a more systemic problem with the publication process of papers whose message goes far beyond mere academic inquiry while using the ‘outrageous arguments’ approach. When it comes to the former, we believe that the paper — as probably intended — is fatally flawed due to its lack of engagement with the relevant bioethics literature and essential sources in health sciences as well as its superficial and rash style of argumentation. As for the latter, the paper is not merely an academic exploration of a thought experiment but contains important policy change proposals, which significantly exacerbate the aforementioned scholarly flaws. Below, we summarize the central claims in the article, then explain its critical weaknesses.