Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Henk ten Have

Communitarian Bioethics

  • Amitai EtzioniEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05544-2_111-1


Communitarian bioethics aims to balance concerns for individual rights and interests that are central to liberal and libertarian bioethics with the common good that is the primary concern of authoritarian approaches to bioethics. Communitarian bioethics is founded on four principles, which are here illustrated through comparative case studies of varying global practices relating to bioethical dilemmas. These principles are preference for moral rather than financial appeals to convert attitudes into action on the individual level, the use of informal rather formal social controls to engender voluntary compliance with public policy on the community level, the promotion of moral dialogues rather than purely rational deliberation as means of discovering shared values to guide social change, and the balance of the common good with individual rights.


Authoritarian Communitarian Liberal Libertarian Individual rights Common good Autonomy Privacy Security Normative appeals Informal vs. formal social controls The self Moral dialogues 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA