What Has Bioethics to Offer Health Policy?
Milbank Quarterly. 1991; 69(2): 233-251.
This article will focus narrowly on bioethics as normative ethics: the attempt to determine what is right and what is wrong. Descriptive ethics -- the study of what people believe or do -- belongs to the field of bioethics as well, but raises different methodological issues. Within normative ethics, I will take moral philosophy as mother discipline; not in the sense that only philosophers are competent bioethicists (whether a background in philosophy is essential or even advantageous is one of the questions at issue), but because any relevant theories of ethics used in bioethics will likely be philosophical theories. These theories might be put forward by social scientists, theologians, or anyone else, but their competition and their predecessors will be the products of those working in the tradition begun by Socrates and Plato, the professional philosophers.
Advisory Committees; Bioethical Issues; Bioethics; Communication; Competence; Curriculum; Economics; Editorial Policies; Education; Ethical Analysis; Ethical Theory; Ethicists; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Health; Health Care; Interdisciplinary Communication; Literature; Medical Education; Methods; Moral Policy; Normative Ethics; Philosophy; Professional Competence; Public Policy; Resource Allocation; Technical Expertise; Values;