New book from Susan Dodds: “Big Picture Bioethics: Developing Democratic Policy in Contested Domains”

10 Aug 2016

Dodds new book addresses the problem of how to make democratically legitimate public policy on issues of contentious bioethical debate in medical research and clinical practice. It explores alternative tools that bioethics can bring to the evaluation and critique of these types of policy responses beyond typical approaches, with a focus on the processes for policymaking and how legitimate policy can be generated. It emphasizes the need to explore the ‘big picture’—including the diverse contexts in which policy is generated—particularly in cases of contentious and emerging medical issues and technologies. Along the way it addresses two questions of political legitimacy which have both practical and theoretical implications: how should states make public policy on issues where there is ethical disagreement not only about the appropriate outcomes but even which values underlie the key issues at stake? What would constitute justified, democratic policy in such conflicted domains, and is it even possible to achieve?

This book arises from an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant “Big Picture Bioethics: Policy-making and Liberal Democracy” DP0556068

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