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.
Reflecting on the process of writing this book, I am struck at the underlying networks of support that have assisted me in multifarious ways. My deepest thanks go to Joanna Bourke for her endless support, inspiration and enthusiasm. Special gratitude is due to Julie-Marie Strange, Matt Cook, Julia Laite and Carmen Mangion. Finally, my appreciation goes to Clare Makepeace, John Siblon and Hazel Croft for their advice and friendship.
Thanks also go to the anonymous readers commissioned by Manchester University Press for their careful reading of my submission and highly constructive and generous criticism.
I am grateful to the staff at the archives and libraries at the following institutions: the Burnett Archive, Brunel University London; the British Library; the Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham; the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry Archive; the Imperial War Museum; Lancashire Archives; the Liddell Collection, University of Leeds; Senate House Library; The National Archives; West Yorkshire Archives; the UK Data Archive; and the University of Reading (Special Collections). Sincere thanks are also due to Dick Robinson for giving me access to Edie Appleton’s diaries and to Bob Allso and James Colquhoun for generously sharing their knowledge of local memorials.
Especial thanks to the Davies family and Hereford History for giving me permission to use the striking photograph of the three Davies brothers, George, David and James, as the cover image for this book.
I have greatly benefitted from responses to the papers I have given, presentations and informal conversations at various conferences, seminars and workshops. I extend particular thanks to Caroline Goodson, Colin Harding, Laura King, Laura Kounine, Claire Langhammer, Edward Madigan, Maria Margaronis, Lucy Noakes, Lyndal Roper, Michael Roper, Penny Summerfield, Corinna Peniston-Bird and Wendy Ugolini for their insights and encouragement.
Finally, all writers rely heavily on the tolerant kindness of friends and families. Special thanks to Nick Fearn for his careful reading of an early draft. My greatest love and appreciation goes to Pavi Warwicker for providing an almost unquantifiable abundance of loving support.