Bioethical expertise:Mapping the field

Anno L, n. 213, maggio-agosto 2015
Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


In a specialized world, where knowledge has increasingly become a collective enterprise, nobody can master all the fields. This has led to the generation of a myriad of experts, each of whom is specialized in a precise domain or subdomain. Given this picture, it is not surprising that people with training in bioethics are often referred to as “bioethics experts” and/or “bioethical experts”. However, the question “who is the bioethical expert?” does not appear so easy to answer. This paper locates precisely within this debate and aims to provide a picture of the contemporary debate over the issue of bioethical expertise, analysing and reshaping the main objections present in the literature both against the concept of bioethical expertise and the existence of bioethical experts. It will be then shown that, if properly considered, there is some space for bioethical expertise and bioethical experts within contemporary democratic societies.