Bioethics as a Governance Practice

Health Care Analysis 24 (1):3-23 (2016)
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Abstract

Bioethics can be considered as a topic, an academic discipline, a field of study, an enterprise in persuasion. The historical specificity of the forms bioethics takes is significant, and raises questions about some of these approaches. Bioethics can also be considered as a governance practice, with distinctive institutions and structures. The forms this practice takes are also to a degree country specific, as the paper illustrates by drawing on the author’s UK experience. However, the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics can provide a starting point for comparisons provided that this does not exclude sensitivity to the socio-political context. Bioethics governance practices are explained by various legitimating narratives. These include response to scandal, the need to restrain irresponsible science, the accommodation of pluralist views, and the resistance to the relativist idea that all opinions count equally in bioethics. Each approach raises interesting questions and shows that bioethics should be studied as a governance practice as a complement to other approaches.

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References found in this work

Principles of biomedical ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by James F. Childress.
Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics.Onora O'Neill - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The birth of bioethics.Albert R. Jonsen - 1998 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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