International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 13, Issue 1, Spring 1999

Thomas May
Pages 1-19

Bioethics in a Liberal Society
Political, Not Moral

This paper argues for the importance of the political context of a society for bioethics. In particular, I argue that in a liberal constitutional society, such as the one we find ourselves in, no particular moral perspective is granted a privileged position. Rather, individuals are allowed to live their lives according to values they adopt for themselves, and the rights granted to protect this ability “trump” social consensus, and place boundaries on the social application of personal moral beliefs and values.