IMPACT ETHICS: MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN BIOETHICS
IE is managed by the Novel Tech Ethics research team (www.noveltechethics.ca) in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Canada).
IE is a forum for discussion of and commentary on bioethical issues, presenting a diverse range of voices and perspectives. IE has a preference for posting articles that are grounded in the current Canadian context, although we are willing to consider any well-written article that confronts an important bioethical issue. We are primarily concerned with (i) contemporary bioethical news, (ii) how bioethical news and developments may be interpreted by and affect Canadians, and (iii) engaging academics and non-academics in bioethical discussion. For more information on writing for IE, please visit the Submit A Post page.
Managing Editors: Françoise Baylis and Angel Petropanagos.
What is Impact Ethics?
Impact ethics is about using the tools of ethics to shock, press, crack, and chip society into a better place. It is about outcomes, and ordering the study of ethics around changing things for the better.
Impact ethics questions the status quo in health care. It does not go gently into the night but rather questions the institutional role that ethicists often play in making health care more efficient or productive. It seeks genuinely human goals over and above narrowly medical or economic ones,even when that creates job-related conflict for impact (bio)ethicists.
Impact ethics seeks to make science subservient to the human good. It does not proselytize for the drug companies or those academic scientists that work for scientific advancement at any cost. At the same time, it does not fear science or oppose those advancements that really benefit society. It promotes the responsible and effective development of medical technologies.
Impact ethics seeks to make public institutions more responsive, accountable, and just. It does not shrink from examining overtly political topics. It advocates for public accountability of public officials and institutions. It is conscious of the importance of making public institutions accountable to the marginalized and vulnerable members of society.
Impact ethics is self-conscious in that it also critiques professional bioethics. It does not place itself beyond the imperatives to be innovative, responsible, and accountable. It challenges professional ethicists to re-examine their goals and priorities, and to be transparent about goals and funding. It challenges public bioethics to circumscribe and evaluate its institutional role in society’s shared moral endeavor. It welcomes criticism from other corners of society as opportunities for self-awareness and improvement.