Chapter

Empirical Research in Bioethics

Margaret Pabst Battin

in Ending Life

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195140279
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850280 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140279.003.0017
Empirical Research in Bioethics

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This chapter begins with the author's personal experience in doing “empirical research” in bioethics. The year was 1988; the location, the Netherlands; the topic, the then newly emerging reality that, in a legal climate which tolerated these forms of hastening death, the Dutch were openly practicing physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. This “research” trip proved enormously informative. The method known as oppositional collaboration has the potential to contribute to the resolution of many of the more difficult issues in bioethics, and it would be a good thing if it were more widely used. Indeed, it should be the norm for the specific sorts of empirical research that go on in bioethics — not so much the research on physical sciences, social science, or medical science, but the distinctive kinds of empirical exploration that bioethicists often do.

Keywords: bioethics; empirical research; Netherlands; physician-assisted suicide; euthanasia; oppositional collaboration

Chapter.  2420 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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