Get access

THE FUTURE OF BIOETHICS: THREE DOGMAS AND A CUP OF HEMLOCK

Authors

  • ANGUS DAWSON

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University, UK
      Dr. Angus Dawson, Keele University, Centre for Professional Ethics, Keele Hall, Staffordshire, ST5 5BN. Email: a.j.dawson@keele.ac.uk
    Search for more papers by this author

Dr. Angus Dawson, Keele University, Centre for Professional Ethics, Keele Hall, Staffordshire, ST5 5BN. Email: a.j.dawson@keele.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

In this paper I argue that bioethics is in crisis and that it will not have a future unless it begins to embrace a more Socratic approach to its leading assumptions. The absence of a critical and sceptical spirit has resulted in little more than a dominant ideology. I focus on three key issues. First, that too often bioethics collapses into medical ethics. Second, that medical ethics itself is beset by a lack of self-reflection that I characterize here as a commitment to three dogmas. Third, I offer a more positive perspective by suggesting how bioethics may benefit from looking towards public health ethics as a new source of inspiration and direction.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary