tubes and laboratory flasks to prepare a brew that he knows little about, but that seems to work. He can sanction the introduction of his concoction into the womb of a stranger. And nine months later, lo and behold, a baby! This kind of modern trick puts the medieval alchemists to shame.

Why shouldn't the doctors be silent? They really don't care who gets Baby M. What they care about is that their experiments not be interfered with. I can imagine their thoughts: "Don't take away my chemical tools even if they blow up people's lives now and for generations to come.

Don't pass laws requiring court supervision—-in advance——of reproductive tinkering. Don't let in the authorities whose vision extends beyond the test tube and culture dishes and who will insist the hard questions be answered before we scientists can even open the doors to our playpen/ laboratory."

Such doctors like their status as outlaws. They'd probably prefer outlaw status with the nobility of a Robin Hood or The Lone Ranger, but if necessary, they will settle for the Jesse James or Willie Sutton model.

Medical ethicists merely confuse the public. They cry out, "Tech- nology has advanced too fast for ethics." But think about that for a moment. Consider the tremendous explosion in computer technology. A clever high school student, armed with a computer, can gain access to important secrets held by other computers. But that's against the law. Society steps in with legal restraints to hold technologic capability in check. Not so in medicine. It isn't reproductive technology that has outdistanced societal ethics; it is doctors who have acted without regard to ethical standards.

In other forms of technologic crime, law and order prevail. In the technologic crimes committed by modern medicine, anarchy is the rule. Doctors know that what they are doing is unethical. They set up elabor- ate institutes and committees on medical ethics as a smokescreen to con- ceal their behavior. Their basic determination that "What can be done will be done" blinds them to both the short—term and long—term moral impli- cations of their deeds. And that's why doctors are so quiet about Baby M. Deep down, they know that there is something horribly wrong with what they are doing. But they can't stop doing it. That's why decisions about repro- ductive technology are too important to be left to doctors.



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