Bioethics, Politics and Business

image of Bioethics, Politics and Business

In the decision-making involving biosciences and biotechnology, both politicians and the general public have come to increasingly rely on different kinds of experts and specialised bodies. Interest groups such as industry, religious authorities and consumer organisations also try to influence political decision-making, and the role of the media has not always been - it is claimed - as neutral as the public perceives it to be. At the same time, according to the democratic ideal, ultimate power should rest with the parliamentarians and with the people. Who has the power in decision-making in biotechnology? Can there be legitimate expertise in bioethics? How can we improve the power balance? These are some of the questions this book seeks to answer. The book is divided into three parts. The first part presents articles dealing with the role of biopolitics and the expert bodies in relation to the democratic ideal. The second part looks at the special role of the media in relation to decision-making in bioethics and biopolitics. The third part of the book looks at the links between the biotechnology industry and bioethical decision-making.



Governance and Ethics in Biosciences and Biotechnology

There is a traditional picture of the relationship between politics and ethics that still seems to play a certain role. According to the philosopher Karl Popper, there are two dimensions of political decision making (Popper 1966), both of which hold for the governance of bioscience and biotechnology as well. One is the factual question of what will happen if a certain decision is taken and implemented. Such a question, according to Popper, should be dealt with by experts. In principle, it can be decided by science and social science.


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