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What Is Bioethics?


"Biology combined with diverse humanistic knowledge forging a science that sets a system of medical and environmental priorities for acceptable survival." - Van Rensselaer Potter, Global Bioethics: Building on the Leopold Legacy (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1988)

"A branch of applied ethics that studies the philosophical, social, and legal issues arising in medicine and the life sciences. It is chiefly concerned with human life and well-being, though it sometimes also treats ethical questions relating to the nonhuman biological environment." - Encyclopedia Brittanica 

Resources: Bioethics


For additional links, including links to university bioethics programs, see Bioethics: Web Resources, compiled by Tom Mayo of Southern Methodist University. The Princeton Bioethics Forum also offers a list of university bioethics programs.

Articles on Bioethics

Potter, Van Rensselaer and Potter, Lisa. "Global Bioethics: Converting Sustainable Development to Global Survival". Medicine and Global Survival (1995).

Books on Bioethics

  • Kravchenko, Svitlana and Bonine, John. Human Rights and the Environment. Carolina Academic Press, 2008.
  • Potter, Van Rensselaer. Global Bioethics: Building on the Leopold Legacy. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1988.
  • Potter, Van Rensselaer. Bioethics: Bridge to the Future. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1971.

Resources: Stem Cells, Cloning, and Reproductive Issues


  • The Genetics and Public Policy Center- Helps policy leaders, decision makers, and the public better understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities arising from advances in genetics and their application to human health and well-being. Housed at Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • PBS Map - Portal to U.S. state policies on stem cells and cloning developed by the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
  • The National Human Genome Research Institute  - Led the Human Genome Project for the National Institutes of Health, which culminated in the completion of the full human genome sequence in April 2003.
  • Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology - "Promotes and advances the standards for the practice of assisted reproductive technology to the benefit of our patients, members and society at large."
  • The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) - Devoted to advancing knowledge and expertise in infertility, reproductive medicine, and biology.
  • The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) - Brings together health care professionals across disciplines and specialties for evidence-based training and network building among committed colleagues.

Teaching Resources


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