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It turns out an ethicist's job is similar to the enchanted mirror's, absorbing a person's values by asking questions and reflecting back those values, framed in the context and focused on the situation, and adding a little learned wisdom into the deliberation process

WRITTEN BY CLINTON COLMENARES
ILLUSTRATION BY CURTIS PARKER

       
 
     
 

STOP BY TO TALK with a group of medical ethicists sometime about what it is they do and you come away hours later with a good idea about it, but also with more questions -- about yourself, about science, and about how you and science fit into the rest of the world. And when your head and chin have been rubbed raw by acts of contemplation, you'll realize: That's what they do best. They make you think.

Ethicists have no storefront, per se, and they don't produce widgets. Yet their work is more than academic. With their careful, clear deliberation, they help you arrive at an answer, but one coupled with context and understanding. Their work is subtle, but it's woven into the warp and woof of life's fabric, and as cultural, social, economic and scientific worlds spin more collectively, their thread grows stronger, and its colorful hue begins to show through.continued..

 
     
 
 
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