bioethics, in philosophy, a branch of ethics concerned with issues surrounding health care and the biological sciences. These issues include the morality of abortion, euthanasia, in vitro fertilization, and organ transplants (see transplantation, medical). In the 1970s bioethics emerged as a discipline with its own experts, often professional philosophers, who developed university courses on the subject. Many hospitals now employ experts on bioethics to advise on such issues as how to treat terminally ill patients and to allocate limited resources. Advances in health care, the development of genetic testing and screening, and the new research in genetic engineering, including gene therapy, have also given rise to questions in bioethics.

See W. T. Reich, ed., Encyclopedia of Bioethics (4 vol., 1978); H. T. Engelhardt, The Foundations of Bioethics (1986); R. Macklin, Mortal Choices: Bioethics in Today's World (1987).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Bioethics: Selected full-text books and articles

The Story of Bioethics: From Seminal Works to Contemporary Explorations By Eran P. Iuein; Jennifer K. Walter Georgetown University Press, 2003
Bioethics as Practice By Judith Andre University of North Carolina Press, 2002
Bioethics for Scientists By John Bryant; Linda Baggott La Velle; John Searle Wiley, 2002
Beyond a Western Bioethics: Voices from the Developing World By Angeles Tan Alora; Josephine M. Lumitao Georgetown University Press, 2001
African American Bioethics: Culture, Race, and Identity By Lawrence J. Prograis Jr.; Edmund D. Pellegrino Georgetown University Press, 2007
Bioethics and Vulnerability: A Latin American View By Florencia Luna; Peter Herissone-Kelly; Laura Pakter Rodopi, 2006
Bioethics: A Primer for Christians By Gilbert Meilaender W.B. Eerdmans, 2005
Jewish and Catholic Bioethics: An Ecumenical Dialogue By Edmund D. Pellegrino; Alan I. Faden Georgetown University Press, 1999
Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics By Onora O'Neill Cambridge University Press, 2002
Bioethics and Social Reality By Matti Häyry; Tuija Takala; Peter Herissone-Kelly Rodopi, 2005
A Handbook of Bioethics Terms By James B. Tubbs Jr Georgetown University Press, 2009
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