Bioethics: The Dangers of Rhetoric
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 1993 Spring; 2(2): 127-131.
...I do not for a moment wish to deny that there is such a subject as bioethics. No one with eyes and ears open at the present time could possibly doubt this. There are bioethics courses springing up like mushrooms in all of the university world, to say nothing of advisory committees beyond number. Nevertheless, there is a sense in which bioethics is not a new subject. Bioethics is an attempt to apply an old subject, namely moral and political philosophy, to new material. Thus, the most important aspect of this subject is to learn new facts, to learn more about what is and what is going to be possible, and then to think how to apply the principles of morality and the realities of politics to these new facts. To what extent philosophy as an academic discipline is relevant to such discussions is a matter of dispute....
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