Bioethics Commissions: Town Meetings with a "Blue, Blue Ribbon"
Town meetings are characteristic of New England. In theory, a quorum of registered voters in a small municipality meets annually to decide local public policy. In fact, special interests and the town bureaucracy control the meeting. Like a town meeting, a commission (or committee or council) comes into being, whether on an ad hoc or permanent basis, to direct a government function. Bioethics commissions specialize in one area: the intersection of policy with developments, either real or anticipated, in the basic and applied sciences.
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