On the History of Bioethical Ideas
Volume 9, Issue 2 (2021)
Bioethics is a rather young interdisciplinary field of inquiry. As an academic specialty, it emerged in the second half of the twentieth century as a consequence of new discoveries and inventions in the biomedical field. Despite its youth, bioethics already has a rich history due to the intensity with which its typical topics have been discussed. For example, topics such as organ transplant, euthanasia, abortion, in vitro fertilization, human experimentation, stem-cell therapies, gene therapies, and vaccines have indeed sparked debate both inside and outside the academic world. It is even truer that bioethics has a rich history if we consider the debates that took place before the word “bioethics” was introduced. Even if the prevailing temptation is to discuss the above-mentioned issues from a normative point of view, in this special issue of Orbis Idearum, specialists of the history of ideas have mainly contributed to the debate from their own, strictly historical, perspective.