Philosophers who specialize in bioethics face a distinctive set of challenges in our work: to bring the theoretical insights of philosophical work and methodology to practical dilemmas affecting a diverse group of stakeholders every day. This article describes some of the key contributions that philosophy can make to the field of bioethics. It also identifies some of the pitfalls that can undermine the value of a philosophical approach when used to analyze questions arising in the real world. Recognition of the importance of individual context, practical implications, and social considerations can help successfully bridge the gap between theory and practice. Using this wide-angle lens to view bioethical problems can enable philosophers working in our field to offer insights that are both rigorous and relevant.
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhx031
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