Critical Bioethics: Beyond the Social Science Critique of Applied Ethics

Hedgecoe, Adam (2004) Critical Bioethics: Beyond the Social Science Critique of Applied Ethics. Bioethics, 18 (2). pp. 120-143. ISSN 0269-9702

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Abstract

This article attempts to show a way in which social science research can contribute in a meaningful and equitable way to philosophical bioethics. It builds on the social science critique of bioethics present in the work of authors such as Renée Fox, Barry Hoffmaster and Charles Bosk, proposing the characteristics of a critical bioethics that would take social science seriously. The social science critique claims that traditional philosophical bioethics gives a dominant role to idealised, rational thought, and tends to exclude social and cultural factors, relegating them to the status of irrelevancies. Another problem is the way in which bioethics assumes social reality divides down the same lines/categories as philosophical theories. Critical bioethics requires bioethicists to root their enquires in empirical research, to challenge theories using evidence, to be reflexive and to be sceptical about the claims of other bioethicists, scientists and clinicians. The aim is to produce a rigorous normative analysis of lived moral experience.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Depositing User: Chris Keene
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2008
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 16:51
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1312
Google Scholar:127 Citations
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