I cannot think of any ethical issues associated with preparing a bacterial culture to test antibiotic resistance. The bacteria I am using is Bacillus Megaterium so its not pathogenic. Thanks in advance for your help!

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because ethics (incl. ethics in biology) is a field of philosophy, not biology. You should give it a try on Philosophy.SE. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b May 27 '17 at 18:29

While I think the question is off-topic, I could not help but trying to answer it! It is easy to find ethical issues in every activity.

Potential ethical issues

  1. You are killing bacteria
  2. Your research has an environmental cost. You consume loads of plastic thingies for example.
  3. Your research costs money as well. You consume tax payer money (depending on your source of funds)
  4. You are selecting for anti-biotic resistance and might, by mistake, release them in nature (of even they are not pathogens, they might become, they might transfer their resistance to pathogenic bacteria as well or your experience may have all sorts of unexpected consequences)
  5. Are you sure it is not pathogenic? We are never sure of anything, so just don't take risks.
  6. Don't play with nature, you are not God!
  7. Are you helping those nasty big pharmaceutical companies, huh?
  8. You are a clever person. There are so many other things you could do for the world that would be so much more beneficial. Your time could be used for better purposes. You could work on improving sanitation conditions in India, or improve women's right around the world, or help children involved in the current civil war in Somalia for examples.

Basics of philosophy of ethics

For any question of ethics, one has to define his/her own values and from this point this person can formulate an opinion on a particular case. Of course, I personally do not feel bad about killing bacteria and consider antibiotic resistance a very important field of study to improve our everyday well-being but other people may disagree based on their own values.

I am not formally trained as a philosopher. So, please read the wikipedia articles on ethics and values I linked above and if you have any other question of Philosophy, you can ask them on Philosophy.SE

  • $\begingroup$ You don't think studying antibiotic resistance is a pressing concern, or is less worthy than the other pursuits you listed? $\endgroup$ – canadianer May 27 '17 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ I did not express my personal opinion. I just listed possible ethical issues. It is up to someone's values to define what is ethical or not. I feel perfectly fine with killing bacteria for example. And of course, I consider antibiotic resistance a very important field of study that has high impact on our everyday well being. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b May 27 '17 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough.... $\endgroup$ – canadianer May 27 '17 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ @canadianer I have now edited the post to try to clarify that I am not expressing my personal opinion. Thanks $\endgroup$ – Remi.b May 27 '17 at 21:42

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