Solidarity in Contemporary Bioethics – Towards a New Approach

8 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2012

See all articles by Barbara Prainsack

Barbara Prainsack

University of Vienna - Department of Political Sciences

Alena Buyx

University of Kiel - Department of Biomedical Ethics

Date Written: September 2012

Abstract

This paper, which is based on an extensive analysis of the literature, gives a brief overview of the main ways in which solidarity has been employed in bioethical writings in the last two decades. As the vagueness of the term has been one of the main targets of critique, we propose a new approach to defining solidarity, identifying it primarily as a practice enacted at the interpersonal, communal, and contractual/legal levels. Our three‐tier model of solidarity can also help to explain the way in which crises of solidarity can occur, notably when formal solidaristic arrangements continue to exist despite ‘lower tiers’ of solidarity practices at inter‐personal and communal levels having ‘broken away’. We hope that this contribution to the growing debate on the potential for the value of solidarity to help tackle issues in bioethics and beyond, will stimulate further discussion involving both conceptual and empirically informed perspectives.

Keywords: solidarity, bioethics, Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCoB)

Suggested Citation

Prainsack, Barbara and Buyx, Alena, Solidarity in Contemporary Bioethics – Towards a New Approach (September 2012). Bioethics, Vol. 26, Issue 7, pp. 343-350, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2117685 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8519.2012.01987.x

Barbara Prainsack (Contact Author)

University of Vienna - Department of Political Sciences ( email )

Bruenner Strasse 72
Vienna 1210, Vienna
Austria

Alena Buyx

University of Kiel - Department of Biomedical Ethics ( email )

zu Kiel Arnold-Heller-Str. 3
Haus 28
Kiel, 24105
Germany

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