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Bioethics: Home

This guide serves as an introduction to the strategies and resources for exploring the complex legal and ethical issues raised by developments in the life sciences.

Keeping Up With Bioethics

Bioethics Forum (The Hastings Center)

Bioethics Forum publishes commentary, from a range of perspectives on issues in bioethics. It is a free service of the Hastings Center Report. The Hastings Center is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit bioethics research institute founded in 1969.


Keeping Up With Genetics


Nature Reviews Genetics covers the full scientific breadth of modern genetics, capturing its diversity and implications.




Bioethics is the systematic study of ethical, legal, and public policy issues concerning questions about health care, life sustaining technology, and the health professions. Bioethics is an interdisciplinary field covering topics such as informed consent, reproductive decision making, cloning, right to die, involuntary sterilization, human experimentation, advanced directives, euthanasia and end-of-life decision making, life support care, living wills, organ procurement and transplantation, patient rights, genetic technology, and the allocation of medical resources in the managed care era.

Paper topics


If you are trying to decide on a paper topic in the area of bioethics, take a look at the following resources that provide general background information:

Bioethics Topics (University of Washington School of Medicine) - "Each topic begins with an overview and a series of commonly asked questions. In addition, there are several case-based scenarios with discussions linked to each topic. Links to additional readings and related websites are included at the end of each topic."

Scope Note Series (National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature) - "The Scope Note Series is intended to present a current overview of issues and viewpoints related to specific topics in biomedical ethics. It is not designed as a comprehensive review, but rather offers immediate reference to facts, opinion, and legal precedents (if applicable) for scholars, journalists, medical and legal practitioners, students, and interested laypersons."

Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Reference QH332 .E52 2004)  - This 5-volume set provides comprehensive coverage of bioethics topics.


Designing and Synthesizing Life

Check out this speech by Craig Venter, who founded the Institute for Genomic Research in 1992. That non-profit genomics research institute is now a part of the J. Craig Venter Institute.

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