There can be no libertarian bioethics without libertarian ethics. Once a libertarian approach to ethics is identified, resolving questions in bioethics involves little more than applying those principles to the sphere of human interaction specific to medicine and scientific innovation. For this reason, we must first touch on libertarianism as it relates to general theories of ethics before moving on to ethical theory with specific reference to bioethical questions.

Like the pursuit of liberty, bioethical questions have existed since the dawn of civilization, but the term bioethics and its emergence as an academic and clinical discipline first occurred in the 1970s. Then as now, some of the more theoretical topics include defining illness, patients' rights, medical professional integrity, human dignity, competency, research ethics, self-ownership, medical resource ...

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