The Word "Bioethics": The Struggle Over Its Earliest Meanings
Reich, Warren Thomas
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. 1995 Mar; 5(1): 19-34.
An article by Warren Reich in the December 1994 issue of this journal concludes that the word "bioethics" and the field of study it names experienced a "bilocated birth" in 1970/1971 under Van Rensselaer Potter, at the University of Wisconsin, and Andre Hellegers, at Georgetown University. Further historical inquiry confirms (1) that there were, from the start, some major differences -- even clashes -- between the Potter and the Hellegers/Georgetown understandings of bioethics; and (2) that the Hellegers/Georgetown approach came to be the more widely accepted meaning of the term, while Potter's idea of bioethics remained largely marginalized. However, this inquiry also results in a third, unanticipated, conclusion: that Hellegers (in contrast to the dominant model offered by the Georgetown scholars) actually proposed a global approach to bioethics, bringing his vision much closer to Potter's evolving view than previously has been acknowledged.
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Reich, Warren Thomas (1994-12)Extensive historical sleuthing reveals that the word "bioethics" and the field of study it names experienced, in 1970/1971, a "bilocated birth" in Madison, Wisconsin, and in Washington, D.C. Van Rensselaer Potter, at ...