Biomedical Ethics and the Law: A Critical Perspective
Keith N. Hylton
Boston University - School of Law
January 29, 2007
Boston University School of Law Working Paper No. 07-02
This essay critically reviews the theory of biomedical ethics from a law-and-economics perspective. It suggests that the best direction for society is toward greater reliance on property rights and recognized spheres of autonomy, coupled with freedom of contract within specified limits; and that as a result, the role of the biomedical ethicist should be diminished over time rather than enhanced. I consider applications to the duty of beneficence and commerce in body parts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: biomedical ethics, law and economics, property rights, freedom of contract, normative ethical theory, positive or descriptive ethical theory, essentialism, commerce in organs, spheres of autonomy
JEL Classification: K00, K13, K32
Date posted: January 29, 2007
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