The Missions of National Commissions: Mapping the Forms and Functions of Bioethics Advisory Bodies

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 26 (4):431-456 (2016)
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Ethics advisory groups, in various forms, have existed for at least 50 years in the United States and other countries. In science and biomedicine, four principal types of committees can be distinguished: policy-making and/or advisory committees, health professional association committees, health care ethics committees, and research ethics committees. Overall, these bodies have been of use to governments, policy makers, health care professionals, and the public in considering ‘what is ethical’ and ‘what is unethical’ in areas such as research involving humans or animals or environmental questions such as whether to use genetically modified crops. This paper concentrates on a particular and...



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