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Momentum

Article Title

Forming Bioethics

Abstract

Bioethics has become a prominent part of the American landscape. In only a few short decades this interdisciplinary field permeated academia and the public sphere. Despite the recent scholarly effort to chronicle its history, there is still quite a bit of controversy surrounding bioethics’ origin and rapid evolution. Bioethics’ emergence has already been thoroughly examined through the lens of the potential impact of various events, issues, biomedical and technological developments, and cultural changes. However, there appears to be a widespread neglect of the influence the first texts had on the field. Specifically, the importance of Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress’s Principles of Biomedical Ethics deserves much more consideration than the limited attention it is given in many of the histories of bioethics. This text, more than any other, gave bioethics the structure it needed to become a recognizable field of inquiry.

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