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.
6 Consolidating the ‘ethics industry’: a national ethics committee and bioethics during the 1990s During the 1980s many of the individuals who were pivotal to the making of British bioethics sought to establish what the British Medical Journal identified as a ‘national bioethics committee’.1 Ian Kennedy, for one, regularly called for a politically funded committee based on the American President’s Commission, and his proposals were often endorsed by newspapers and other bioethicists. They were also endorsed by senior figures at the BMA, who believed a national
, law, sociology, theology and the general public.12 Senator Edward Kennedy, a critical figure in the Commission’s formation, argued that policy should not emanate ‘just from the medical profession, but from ethicists, the theologians, the lawyers and many other disciplines’.13 This Commission was widely recognised as the first national bioethics committee, and in 1978 its recommendations led President Jimmy Carter to establish a permanent Presidential Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research.14 These events
’s Dilemmas, it noted that if ‘difficulties and decisions were aired more widely, decision-making might be more even and suspicions might be allayed’.155 And in another article, entitled 126 The making of British bioethics ‘Who’s for Bioethics Committees?’, the Lancet reiterated that bioethics would safeguard ‘not only patients but also doctors and the institutions in which they work’. Outside involvement, it concluded, would help doctors develop guidelines, prevent litigation and ration ‘the available and now inadequate resources of the National Health Service’.156
The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand, and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state) health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’ dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment). The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).
regulatory landscape also underpinned the reconstitution of the HGC as an Emerging Bioethics and Advisory Committee (ESBAC) in 2011, which was tasked with advising ministers and relevant stakeholders on ‘emerging healthcare scientific developments and their ethical, legal, social and economic implications’.57 While ESBAC had a wider remit than the HGC, committee members and the Department of Health were clear it should not be regarded as a national bioethics committee.58 The government’s austerity programme, meanwhile, ensured that ESBAC had fewer financial resources than
divisive scientific research can be for decision makers. After the adoption of the 2005 statement, the international community addressed the issue of cloning again at a technical level thanks to the work of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) of UNESCO, which dedicated four years of its work, until 2011, to the issue of the moral acceptability of scientific research on human cloning. The IBC advised that global dialogue would greatly benefit from efforts in the three following areas: Terminology: frameworks and regulations should not make use of inaccurate and
’ (Article 5). Furthermore, according to the Declaration adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2005, ‘any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information’ (Article 6). The meaning of ‘adequate information’ was clarified in the report on consent submitted by the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO in 2008, which identified the following elements to be taken into account to show the consent of a patient to a medical
terms of their ability to make autonomous choices.220 The synergy between Warnock and the government’s view of ethics, their shared distrust of experts and belief in oversight, all help explain why she became ‘synonymous with British bioethics’ during the 1980s.221 After being appointed to the House of Lords as a cross-bench peer in 1985, Warnock contributed the first two articles to a new journal of Bioethics, continued to publicly discuss the ethics of IVF, gene therapy and animal experiments, endorsed the formation of a national bioethics committee, and was the