F. Daniel Davis that informs my attempt, the dichotomy of conservative and liberal standpoints on the question of a commission's proper mandate appears false and over-determined--over-determined, In June 2009, President Obama dissolved his predecessor's that is, by the polarized character of contemporary political disPresident's Council on Bioethics (PCBE), announced the formacourse and by the often strident controversy that surrounded the tion of a new President's Commission for the Study of Bioethical PCBE, generating critics and defenders who give no quarter to Issues (PCSBI), and spurred another round in an ongoing debate their opposition. about the mission or mandate of a national bioethics commission, As for the substance of my position, it is informed by scholarly its methods, and the criteria by which its work should be judged. engagement with the theory and history of public bioethics and Given the contemporary climate for political and moral discourse by personal experience, for I served, from January 2006 to in this country, one should not be too surprised that this once September 2009, as PCBE's executive director. I set out from the civil debate has become less so, diminished rather than enriched basic observation that in the U.S., bioethics commissions have
The Good Society – Penn State University Press
Published: Jul 22, 2010
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