Today, another edition of Midday on Ethics with Dr. Jeffrey Kahn of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. On this installment, we’ll explore some ethical questions drawn from the remarkable documentary film, Three Identical Strangers, and from the 1818 horror/science fiction classic, Frankenstein.
In the film, a set of triplets were adopted at six months old by separate families in the New York City area. The children were part of a secret scientific study that examined the outcomes for genetically identical children who were raised in different circumstances.
We then shift the conversation to discuss the ethical consequences of the work of a fictional scientist, Dr. Frankenstein. The novel by Mary Shelley is now 200 years old. Yet the ethical questions raised by the novel and the many Frankenstein films inspired by it force us to ask what it means to be human, and to confront the hubris shown by many involved in modern-day efforts to create and modify life.
Dr. Kahn will be part of a panel discussion at the Parkway Theatre on Oct. 31 titled "What Frankenstein's Monster Can Teach Us About Being Human." The panel is part of a series of events hosted by Johns Hopkins University to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein's publication. You can see a full list of events here.