The international growth and influence of bioethics has led some to identify it as a decisive shift in the location and exercise of 'biopower'. This book provides an in-depth study of how philosophers, lawyers and other 'outsiders' came to play a major role in discussing and helping to regulate issues that used to be left to doctors and scientists. It discusses how club regulation stemmed not only from the professionalising tactics of doctors and scientists, but was compounded by the 'hands-off' approach of politicians and professionals in fields such as law, philosophy and theology. The book outlines how theologians such as Ian Ramsey argued that 'transdisciplinary groups' were needed to meet the challenges posed by secular and increasingly pluralistic societies. It also examines their links with influential figures in the early history of American bioethics. The book centres on the work of the academic lawyer Ian Kennedy, who was the most high-profile advocate of the approach he explicitly termed 'bioethics'. It shows how Mary Warnock echoed governmental calls for external oversight. Many clinicians and researchers supported her calls for a 'monitoring body' to scrutinise in vitro fertilisation and embryo research. The growth of bioethics in British universities occurred in the 1980s and 1990s with the emergence of dedicated centres for bioethics. The book details how some senior doctors and bioethicists led calls for a politically-funded national bioethics committee during the 1980s. It details how recent debates on assisted dying highlight the authority and influence of British bioethicists.
The editors would like to thank the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation who funded the international conference on the development and change of immunisation throughout history – socio-political development and the implementation of new medical practices that took place in Berlin, Germany in April 2011. We would also acknowledge additional funding received for the conference from the European Science Foundation through the network ‘Standard drugs and drug standards. A comparative historical study of pharmaceuticals in the twentieth century’. The idea of the book and the collaboration of the authors started at this conference. We thank Dr Marion Hulverscheidt with whom we received funding for the conference in Berlin and who was a co-chair of the meeting and important discussant in shaping the book. To discuss and reflect on the chapters and to finalise the book, the authors received funding from the Society of Social History of Medicine to conduct a workshop on ‘Vaccination between Research, Health Politics, and Nation: Lessons learned from historical examples on vaccination campaigns and vaccination development’ held at the East Anglia University Medical School in Norwich, UK in October 2013. We also would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of the book. Finally, we thank those who helped us bring the book into shape for publication: in particular Juliana Thon, Iris Maertens, Julie Slater, and Ashley Witcher.