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Utilitarian bioethics is based on the premise that the distribution of resources is a zero-sum game, and that it therefore medical decisions should logically be made on the basis of each person's total future productive value and happiness, their chance of survival from the present, and the resources required for treatment.
For those whose cost of medical treatment or maintenance outweighs their total future economic value (because they are terminally ill, are no longer productive, and have no reasonable chance of becoming productive or happy in the foreseeable future), it is economically efficient to free up medical resources by not treating them.
As an example of this logic, every nurse who cares for a terminally ill Alzheimer's or cancer patient, a comatose individual, or an individual in a vegetative state, is one less nurse to take care of a sick baby or a 12-year-old gunshot victim. See opportunity cost.
Therefore, the benefits Utilitarian Bioethics include increased medical expenditure on other patients with a higher chance of survival and return to a productive and/or happy status. This would ideally lead to an overall net increase in wealth and happiness.
The perceived downsides of Utilitarian Bioethics include : potential justifications for physicians to kill patients, a gravitation towards acceptance of mortality and death, lack of medical progress (as the treatment of severe injuries would not be explored), the uncertainty in measuring 'happiness', and the possibility of classification of many disabled or old people as "nonpersons".
Now that the human genome has been decoded, the ramifications of a utilitarian ethic go far beyond socioeconomic and legislative reform. In era of post-genomic medicine, they extend to control of the pleasure-pain axis itself. By unravelling the molecular substrates of emotion, biotechnology allied to nanomedicine permits the quantity, quality, duration and distribution of happiness and misery in the world to be controlled - ultimately at will. More controversially, the dilemmas of traditional casuistry will lose their relevance. This is because our imminent mastery of the reward centres ensures that everyone can be heritably "better than well" - a utopian-sounding prediction that currently still strikes most of us as comically childlike in its naïveté. However, unlike perennially scarce "positional" goods and services in economics, personal happiness doesn't need to be rationed. Within the next few centuries, a triple alliance of biotech, infotech and nanotech can - potentially - make invincible bliss a presupposition of everyday mental health.
In a way, Utilitarian Bioethics is simply another form of Nazism. Breeding out the 'nonpersons' to create a perfect race. The main difference is that they don't make death camps and round up their prey, they simply ignore them into destruction.