Recent rapid advances in the biosciences have led to considerable debate about the social, ethical, and legal implications of research and its applications. The mapping of the human genome, advances in cloning techniques, the harvesting of embryonic stem cells for research, increasing use of genetic testing in healthcare, and the development of large-scale genetic databases have not only generated high expectations about new diagnostics and treatments but also considerable widespread fear about their consequences. This book offers a critical appraisal of bioethics and its implications as it pertains to the fields of health and medicine and public health, with a particular emphasis on recent technological innovations as they provide a noteworthy exemplar of the power of bioethics in shaping policies, practices and notions of societal benefits. Whereas other books have tended to examine ethical dilemmas and challenges of applying ethical principles, often in relation to a limited array of issues, this book investigates the socio-political implications of bioethics discourse and practices in relation to a range of controversial (or potentially controversial) developments. Providing a benchmark for future debate and scholarly work, this volume will be of interest to policymakers, clinicians, scholars, and others who are looking for new ways of making sense and evaluating recent developments in the field of bioethics.
Table of Contents
1. Bioethics as Politics 2. Bioethics and the Politics of Expectations 3. Engendering Consent: Bioethics and Biobanks 4. Missing the Big Picture: Bioethics and Stem Cell Research 5. Testing Times: Bioethics and ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Genetics 6. Governing Uncertainty: The Politics of Nanoethics 7. Beyond Bioethics
Alan Petersen is Professor of Sociology at the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University, Melbourne.