Is there any Indication for Ethics Evidence? An Argument for the Admissibility of some Expert Bioethics Testimony

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 33 (2):248-263 (2005)
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Abstract

Professor Imwinkelried is surely right: the propriety of bioethicists serving as expert witnesses in litigation is problematic, and, I would add, it should remain problematic. Such testimony most certainly does not belong everywhere it will be offered by lawyers and litigants in an effort to advance their interests. Yet in contrast to some commentators, Imwinkelried and I both see a place for bioethicists serving as expert witnesses, although we differ significantly on how to understand and justify this place. In any event, serious questions regarding the proper place for expert bioethicist testimony in the courtroom do exist, not only for law but also bioethics as well.The threshold question regarding the prospect of bioethicists serving as expert witnesses would seemingly have to be: “could a bioethicist qualify as an expert witness under the controlling rules of evidence?” Imwinkelried, however, does not perceive any need to even entertain this question as he claims that “technical evidentiary standards are inapplicable when information is presented to a judge to permit the judge to perform… a legislative or law-making function.”

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Lawrence Nelson
Santa Clara University

Citations of this work

Motion(Less) in Limine.Giles Scofield - 2005 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 33 (4):821-833.
Motion(less) in Limine.Giles Scofield - 2005 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 33 (4):821-833.

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References found in this work

The elements of moral philosophy.James Rachels & Stuart Rachels - 2015 - [Dubuque]: McGraw-Hill Education. Edited by James Rachels.
Expert Testimony by Ethicists: What Should Be the Norm?Edward J. Imwinkelried - 2005 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 33 (2):198-221.
Expert Testimony by Ethicists: What Should be the Norm?Edward J. Imwinkelried - 2005 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 33 (2):198-221.
Ethics Expert Testimony: Against the Skeptics.G. J. Agich & B. J. Spielman - 1997 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 22 (4):381-403.
Moral Experts in the Courtroom.Peter G. McAllen & Richard Delgado - 1984 - Hastings Center Report 14 (1):27-34.

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