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.
Progress and pathology is the product of a large European Research Council project, ‘Diseases of Modern Life: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives’, led by Sally Shuttleworth and funded from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme ERC Grant Agreement number 340121. We are extremely grateful to the ERC for making this research possible, and for giving us the freedom and the time to develop our ideas over the past five and a half years. The project has involved a large team of researchers and we have benefitted immensely from years of interdisciplinary research and collaboration, as well as from the lively programme of seminars, workshops, and conferences run by the project. The chapters in this volume are the outcome of a two day interdisciplinary conference on medicine and modernity which took place at St Anne's College, Oxford in 2016, and we are grateful to all our interlocutors at this early stage, and team members Amelia Bonea and Jennifer Wallis who helped organise the conference. Profuse thanks are also owed to St Anne's College, Oxford, who have housed the project since its inception, and been an endless source of practical and intellectual support.