Bonnie Steinbock

in The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199562411
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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This article includes a short history of bioethics and the major issues surrounding bioethics. At its inception, the central issues in bioethics were research with human subjects, genetics, organ transplantation, death and dying, and reproduction. These continue to be important issues today. Methodology has been a central theoretical issue since the very beginning of bioethics. While some hoped that bioethics would generate a single correct normative theory, that idea has been given up by most practitioners. Indeed, bioethics reflects a wide range of theoretical approaches in normative ethics, including utilitarianism, deontology, natural law, contractarianism, virtue ethics, communitarianism, pragmatism, and feminist ethics.

Keywords: bioethics; human subjects; genetics; normative theory; normative ethics; communitarianism

Article.  5035 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science ; Moral Philosophy

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