Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 227–231 | Cite as

Johnson, Lawrence E: A life-centered approach to bioethics: biocentric ethics

Cambridge University Press, New York, 2011, 388 pp, $29.99 (paper), ISBN: 9780521154208.
  • James A. Marcum

In A Life-Centered Approach to Bioethics, Lawrence Johnson extends the discussion he began in A Morally Deep World(1991), except now the focus is on bioethics—or what he calls biocentric ethics (BCE)—rather than on environmental ethics. Johnson makes what he considers a non-trivial distinction between anthropocentric bioethics, which places humans at the heart of bioethical discussion and which he claims represents the common approach of most bioethicists, and BCE, which places life, of all organisms, at the core of bioethical deliberation. The distinction is non-trivial because BCE does not isolate or individuate humans from one another or from their environment but interconnects and integrates them in both social and ecological terms. Briefly, Johnson predicates BCE upon a foundation composed of the following notions: life as process, health as maintaining life processes, and the moral significance of living organisms proportional to their interest in continuing their life...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

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