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© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Bioethics: Selected full-text books and articles

The Story of Bioethics: From Seminal Works to Contemporary Explorations
Eran P. Iuein; Jennifer K. Walter.
Georgetown University Press, 2003
Life, Death, and Subjectivity: Moral Sources in Bioethics
Stan Van Hooft.
Rodopi, 2004
A Handbook of Bioethics Terms
James B. Tubbs Jr.
Georgetown University Press, 2009
Technologies of Life and Death: From Cloning to Capital Punishment
Kelly Oliver.
Fordham University Press, 2013
American Bioethics: Crossing Human Rights and Health Law Boundaries
George J. Annas.
Oxford University Press, 2004
Bioethics as Practice
Judith Andre.
University of North Carolina Press, 2002
Bioethics for Scientists
John Bryant; Linda Baggott La Velle; John Searle.
Wiley, 2002
Beyond a Western Bioethics: Voices from the Developing World
Angeles Tan Alora; Josephine M. Lumitao.
Georgetown University Press, 2001
African American Bioethics: Culture, Race, and Identity
Lawrence J. Prograis Jr.; Edmund D. Pellegrino.
Georgetown University Press, 2007
Bioethics and Vulnerability: A Latin American View
Florencia Luna; Peter Herissone-Kelly; Laura Pakter.
Rodopi, 2006
Bioethics: A Primer for Christians
Gilbert Meilaender.
W.B. Eerdmans, 2005
Jewish and Catholic Bioethics: An Ecumenical Dialogue
Edmund D. Pellegrino; Alan I. Faden.
Georgetown University Press, 1999
Globalizing Feminist Bioethics: Crosscultural Perspectives
Rosemarie Tong; Gwen Anderson; Aida Santos.
Westview Press, 2001
Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics
Onora O'Neill.
Cambridge University Press, 2002
Bioethics and Social Reality
Matti Häyry; Tuija Takala; Peter Herissone-Kelly.
Rodopi, 2005
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