A draft model aggregated code of ethics for bioethicists

American Journal of Bioethics 5 (5):33 – 41 (2005)
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Bioethicists function in an environment in which their peers - healthcare executives, lawyers, nurses, physicians - assert the integrity of their fields through codes of professional ethics. Is it time for bioethics to assert its integrity by developing a code of ethics? Answering in the affirmative, this paper lays out a case by reviewing the historical nature and function of professional codes of ethics. Arguing that professional codes are aggregative enterprises growing in response to a field's historical experiences, it asserts that bioethics now needs to assert its integrity and independence and has already developed a body of formal statements that could be aggregated to create a comprehensive code of ethics for bioethics. A Draft Model Aggregated Code of Ethics for Bioethicists is offered in the hope that analysis and criticism of this draft code will promote further discussion of the nature and content of a code of ethics for bioethicists



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Robert Baker
George Washington University