(redirected from bioethicists)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.


in philosophy, a branch of ethicsethics,
in philosophy, the study and evaluation of human conduct in the light of moral principles. Moral principles may be viewed either as the standard of conduct that individuals have constructed for themselves or as the body of obligations and duties that a particular society
..... Click the link for more information.
 concerned with issues surrounding health care and the biological sciences. These issues include the morality of abortionabortion,
expulsion of the products of conception before the embryo or fetus is viable. Any interruption of human pregnancy prior to the 28th week is known as abortion. The term spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage, is used to signify delivery of a nonviable embryo or fetus due
..... Click the link for more information.
, euthanasiaeuthanasia
, either painlessly putting to death or failing to prevent death from natural causes in cases of terminal illness or irreversible coma. The term comes from the Greek expression for "good death.
..... Click the link for more information.
, in vitro fertilizationin vitro fertilization
(IVF), technique for conception of a human embryo outside the mother's body. Several ova, or eggs, are removed from the mother's body and placed in special laboratory culture dishes (Petri dishes); sperm from the father are then added, or in many cases a
..... Click the link for more information.
, and organ transplants (see transplantation, medicaltransplantation, medical,
surgical procedure by which a tissue or organ is removed and replaced by a corresponding part, usually from another part of the body or from another individual.
..... Click the link for more information.
). 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 testinggenetic testing,
medical screening for genetic disorders, by examining either a person's DNA directly or a person's biochemistry or chromosomes for indirect evidence. Testing may be done to identify a genetic disorder a person has, whether the disorder is already evident or not,
..... Click the link for more information.
 and screening, and the new research in genetic engineeringgenetic engineering,
the use of various methods to manipulate the DNA (genetic material) of cells to change hereditary traits or produce biological products. The techniques include the use of hybridomas (hybrids of rapidly multiplying cancer cells and of cells that make a
..... Click the link for more information.
, including gene therapygene therapy,
the use of genes and the techniques of genetic engineering in the treatment of a genetic disorder or chronic disease. There are many techniques of gene therapy, all of them still in experimental stages.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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).


A discipline concerned with the application of ethics to biological problems, especially in the field of medicine.
References in periodicals archive ?
But another bioethicist, Thomas Murray, condemned the performance-enhancing arms race in his interview with Nature: "I could probably do a four-mile climb much better with EPO," he says, "but I could also do it much better if I put a motor on my bike.
It may not apply to pseudo professionals such as 'IT professionals' or 'real estate professionals' or, for that matter, professional bioethicists or clinical ethics consultants.
That bioethicists had written hundreds of thousands of pages on "autonomy" without writing one article about its relation to subcontracting seemed, by the end of class, an indication that the field had misunderstood its own premises.
During the q and a, almost all the bioethicists who asked questions contested my view that professional groups Linage their credibility when they pronounce on issues outside of their expertise.
Theological bioethicists have at their disposal the parables, narratives, metaphors, images, words, concepts and emotions to gather together a wide variety of truly compassionate collaborators who share their concerns about social justice.
No contemporary Catholic bioethicist should be without this phenomenal collection.
Today, due in large part to vigorous advocacy by bioethicists, which in turn has led to court cases and then to new laws permitting the practice, it is routine in nursing homes and hospitals throughout the country.
Bioethicists, however, have their own explanation, according to Evans, for the thinness (formalism, formal rationality) of the contemporary debate on HGE.
Barnabas, a New Jersey fertility clinic, set off alarm bells among bioethicists with the publication of a paper detailing the genetic condition of two the 17 cytoplasmic-transfer babies born through the clinic to date.
Many biotechnology companies, researchers and bioethicists say the coalition has it backward: Patent protection, they say, encourages research by giving investors and researchers financial incentives.
used bioethicists trained in mediation to resolve bioethical disputes, such as DNR issues, contested abortions, and confidentiality issues.