A Survey of Recent Articles
An upstart young discipline born some 30 years ago, idealistically determined to grapple with the moral dilemmas posed by modern medicine and to give patients more say, bioethics seems to be flourishing today.
It's a required subject in medical schools, a mandatory feature in hospitals, a frequent attraction in the media; degrees and certificates are awarded in it; centers, departments, and government commissions, as well as professional organizations and journals, are devoted to it. Attending physicians in hospitals can now ask bioethics "consultants" to help critically ill patients or their families decide whether life-sustaining medical treatments should he withheld or withdrawn.
Yet for all this activity and apparent success, some observers wonder if bioethics hasn't lost the promise of its youth and perhaps even its …