Marginalizing Experience: A Critical Analysis of Public Discourse Surrounding Stem Cell Research in Australia (2005–6) [Book Review]

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):191-202 (2011)
Over the past decade, stem cell science has generated considerable public and political debate. These debates tend to focus on issues concerning the protection of nascent human life and the need to generate medical and therapeutic treatments for the sick and vulnerable. The framing of the public debate around these issues not only dichotomises and oversimplifies the issues at stake, but tends to marginalise certain types of voices, such as the women who donate their eggs and/or embryos to stem cell research and the patients who might benefit from its potential clinical outcomes. This paper draws on empirical research conducted on a recent stem cell policy episode in Australia. From the qualitative examination of 109 newspaper opinion editorials and twenty-three in-depth interviews, it is argued that these voices are marginalised because they are based on discourses that have less epistemological status in public debate. Our results suggest that the personal experiences of women and patients are marginalised by the alliances that form between more powerful discourse communities that use science as a source of authority and legitimation. It is argued that members of these communities establish legitimacy and assert authority in public debate by discursively deploying science in claims that marginalise other epistemologies. Implications are discussed along with suggestions for a more enriched and inclusive public debate
Keywords Stem cells  Cloning  Bioethics  Public policy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9294-2
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,470
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
O. Snead (2011). The Law and Politics of Embryo Research in America. Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 17 (1):40-52.
William M. Sage (2010). Will Embryonic Stem Cells Change Health Policy? Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 38 (2):342-351.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

16 ( #281,573 of 1,925,556 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,489 of 1,925,556 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.