We live in medically exciting and morally challenging times. New knowledge gained in research laboratories and applied in health care is reshaping how we understand our ethical responsibilities and ourselves. As what we can do in biomedicine expands, concurrent ethical questions arise about what we ought to do and for what reasons. That is the focus of Harvard Medical School’s new Bioethics Journal.
Our goals in publishing the Bioethics Journal are to recognize and anticipate the ethical aspects of new bioscientific knowledge; to report bioethics research, as well as what is empirically known about ethical problems and alternatives for addressing them; to offer ethical analyses and recommendations; and, most importantly, to provide an open and free forum for professional and public discussion about the ethical challenges of our time.
Why another bioethics journal, you might ask. Yet, if another hospital or health clinic were opened to manage care during a pandemic, no one would wonder why. It would be obvious. We think the need for informed ethical dialogue and debate in these times of increasing ethical quandaries is similarly obvious.
Bioethical questions should not be answered in a vacuum. They are questions for families, for communities and societies, as well as professionals, to consider. Your voice is important and we invite you to participate in the discussion. Read and share the HMS Bioethics Journal. Submit an article or suggest a new ethical concern or topic you would like addressed.
Thank you for joining us at Harvard. We welcome you to this ongoing conversation.
Christine Mitchell, Rebecca Weintraub Brendel, Edward Hundert, Mildred Solomon, Robert Truog
Read more about the Center for Bioethics leadership team