Through thick and thin : rationalizing the public bioethical debate over therapeutic cloning
Jensen, Eric. (2008) Through thick and thin : rationalizing the public bioethical debate over therapeutic cloning. Clinical Ethics, Vol.3 (No.4). pp. 194-198. ISSN 1477-7509Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1258/ce.2008.008037
Beauchamp and Childress (1994) elaborated an approach to bioethical deliberations based on four universalistic principles. This framework of ‘principlism’ has been criticized from within biomedical ethics as insufficient and problematic. However, this article considers a more radical sociological critique by John Evans (2002) that rejects the entire approach of defining ‘principles’ a priori. This sociological critique is based on classical sociologist Max Weber's (1925) distinction between instrumental (‘thin’) and substantive (‘thick’) rationality. As an exploratory assessment of Evans' critique, his conceptualization of ‘thin’ versus ‘thick’ rationalization is applied to a large sample of Anglo-American press coverage (n = 5126) of the bioethical controversy surrounding therapeutic cloning. Given the role of mainstream news media as a key arena for the discursive framing of biomedical research and its ethical implications, the findings raise important questions about principlism and the mediation of bioethical debates on issues such as therapeutic cloning.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Clinical Ethics|
|Publisher:||Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd.|
|Number of Pages:||5|
|Page Range:||pp. 194-198|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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