Law, Bioethics and Biotechnology

Publication Title

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences


James D. Wright

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date



This article examines the emergence of bioethics as a legal discourse and the relationship between technology and bioethics. As a field of study, bioethics functions as a tool to analyze the multifaceted conundrums presented by modern medicine and a way by which those problems can be addressed. This article provides an overview of this broad field of study, beginning with the development of the Nuremberg Code, Declaration of Helsinki, and Belmont Report, and addressing the pivotal medical cases that ultimately spur legislative action, the drafting of codes of professional ethics, and the shaping of legal discourse. The article offers insights on several twentieth-century cases that inspired the development of bioethics in the United States and beyond and has since influenced the development of bioethics and technology throughout the world.


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Recommended Citation

Michele Goodwin and Allison M. Whelan, Law, Bioethics, and Biotechnology, in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (James D. Wright ed., 2d ed. 2015).

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