American bioethics: many beginnings, but one origin

J Int Bioethique. 2009 Dec;20(4):85-93, 111. doi: 10.3917/jib.204.0085.


Bioethics is an American invention. This sweeping statement is meant to certify the birthplace of bioethics and to secure possession of a new field. However, it is one thing to name a place of birth to appropriate afield; it is another to identify its actual date of birth, which would also designate the events that prompted its creation. In this article we explore the alternative birthdays of American bioethics with an aim of identifying its actual origin (in the context of its many beginnings) which, we suggest, helps to set its human rights agenda for future work.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Bioethics / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • United States