Bioethics Critically Reconsidered

Having Second Thoughts

  • H. Tristram Engelhardt

Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 100)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr
    Pages 1-28
  3. History of Bioethics: Four Perspectives

  4. The Practice of Bioethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation: Three Views

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 97-97
    2. Mark J. Cherry
      Pages 99-122
    3. Ana S. Iltis, Adrienne Carpenter
      Pages 123-149
  5. The Incredible Search for Bioethical Professionalism: Some Final Critical Reflections on Circular Thinking

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 175-175
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 191-200

About this book


Bioethics developed as an academic and clinical discipline during the later part of the 20th century due to a variety of factors. Crucial to this development was the increased secularization of American culture as well as the dissolution of medicine as a quasi-guild with its own professional ethics. In the context of this moral vacuum, bioethics came into existence. Its raison d’être was opposition to the alleged paternalism of the medical community and traditional moral frameworks, yet at the same time it set itself up as a source of moral authority with respect to biomedical decision making. Bioethics serves as biopolitics in so far as it attempts to make determinations about how individuals ought to make medical decisions and then attempts to codify that in law. Progressivism and secularism are ultimately the ideology of bioethics.


Autonomy Bioethics Biopolitics Clinical Bioethics Ethics H.T. Engelhardt, Jr History and development of Bioethics Ideology Laurence B. McCullough Paternalism Social Construction

Editors and affiliations

  • H. Tristram Engelhardt
    • 1

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