Public Bioethics and the Bush Presidency

By Snead, O. Carter | Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Summer 2009 | Go to article overview

Public Bioethics and the Bush Presidency


Snead, O. Carter, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy


INTRODUCTION

  I. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S APPROACH TO
     PUBLIC BIOETHICS: GROUNDING GOODS

     A. The Fundamental Equality of
        All Human Beings
     B. Pursuit and Application of Biomedical
        Knowledge for the Common Good

 II. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GROUNDING GOODS
     A. Embryonic Stem Cell Research
        and Related Issues
        1. Executive Actions
        2. Legislative Actions
        3. Bully Pulpit and the Pedagogical
           Authority of the Presidency
     B. Abortion
        1. Executive Directives, Administrative
           Agency Actions, and Foreign Policy
        2. Promoting, Shaping, and
           Blocking Legislation
        3. Shaping the Judiciary
        4. Invoking the Pedagogical Authority
           of the Presidency
     C. Conscience Protections for Health
        Care Providers
        1. Executive Actions
        2. Legislative Actions
     D. End-of-Life Matters
        1. Executive Actions
        2. Legislative Actions

III. ASSESSING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION
     A. Harnessing the Tools of the
        Executive Branch
     B. The Problem of Metrics
     C. The Metric of the Procedural
        Values of Liberalism
     D. The Metric of Substantive Disagreement
     E. Judgment According to Bush's
        Own Principles

CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

"Bioethics" emerged in America as a field of scholarly reflection in the 1960s. (1) The field concerns itself with fundamental questions, including what it means to be human, the nature and value of human life (and death), the ends of medicine, and the purpose of science. It began with a series of conferences convened to discuss the tensions between the humanistic and scientific dimensions of medical practice wrought by extraordinary advances in biomedical science and biotechnology. (2) Shortly thereafter, several centers were founded to explore bioethical questions in a sustained and rigorous way. (3) As with many of the most compelling and contentious matters of moral concern, bioethics also captured the attention of those charged with making and enforcing the law at both the federal and state levels. In the same years that scholars were turning to these questions at conferences and in academic centers, Congressmen and Senators were holding hearings of their own. (4) This constellation of governmental activity marked the birth of a new branch of bioethics--public bioethics--concerned with the governance of medicine, science, and biotechnology in the name of ethical goods. Since its emergence in American law, public bioethics has been a permanent fixture in the halls of government and the public square. Issues such as abortion, embryo research, assisted reproduction, end of life matters, genetic screening and engineering, organ transplantation, human cloning, and the relationship between mind, brain, and behavior, have proliferated as political questions and quite often, by extension, legal matters. These issues are now routinely the subject of both political campaigns and concrete actions by the political branches of government.

Public bioethics figured prominently during the tenure of President George W. Bush. This Article explores the Bush legacy in this domain. It begins by articulating and examining the grounding norms of President Bush's approach to public bioethics. Next, it analyzes how these norms were applied to concrete areas of concern. Building on this analysis, the next section reflects on what the President's actions illustrate about the capacity of the Executive Branch to shape public bioethics. The Article concludes with a brief discussion of the possible metrics by which the Bush Administration's efforts might be judged, and then offers several assessments according to the various standards identified.

I. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S APPROACH TO PUBLIC BIOETHICS: GROUNDING GOODS

A. The Fundamental Equality of All Human Beings

In justifying the bioethics policy of the Administration, President Bush repeatedly and unambiguously cited one particular grounding good: respect for the intrinsic and fundamental equality of all human beings. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Public Bioethics and the Bush Presidency
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.