Today’s HEAL meeting: ‘Regulating Bioethics in the UK’

In 2012, Meetings on July 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

This lunchtime Jonathan Montgomery will be talking on ‘Regulating Bioethics in the UK’ (from 1pm in room 2007/4, Highfield), drawing on his earlier public lecture at Portsmouth Cathedral on ‘Whose ethics are bioethics?’  in the series ‘Society and Our Values’. To whet your appetites for today’s discussion, the essence of his earlier talk is summarised thus:  

“This lecture examines the implications of the plurality of ethics for the processes that we can use, in the UK, in 2012, to set public policy on bioethics. In particular, I am concerned with the opportunities and challenges that arise as that regulatory landscape is changing significantly. In this sense, the question is ‘Which ethics is bioethics?’ and asks us to choose the methodology for making such decisions. The current Government has adopted a very different approach to doing public bioethics from the one that had become established over the previous thirty years. Over that period, public bioethics in the UK has largely been done by committee – the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority or the Human Genetics Commission being leading examples. When it took power, the Government boldly announced the demise of these organisations in its bonfire of the quangos (although the actual death is long and agonising), but has not really explained how public bioethics will be done in its absence. My aim in this paper is to consider some of the options and how the churches might respond to the opportunities that they present.”


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