March 3, 2024

A new vision for bioethics

I openly confess that I am not au fait with Michel Foucault and Kimberlé Crenshaw, but the latest bioethics weather report suggests that they are going to be the big names of bioethics in the next few years, until something new comes along. The latest issue of the American Journal of Bioethics is devoted to race and marginalisation in bioethics and Ye Olde Verities of Autonomy, Non-Maleficence, Beneficence and Justice are nowhere to be seen, at least in the target article.

I stand corrected – it’s all about Justice, but social justice, not justice for the individual. The headwaters of bioethics, in this new vision, are to be found in Justice, not in Autonomy. It’s going to be interesting to watch the change downstream. As the authors of the target article predict, “we must embrace an ethic of discomfort”.

Michael Cook
Justice, not autonomy