Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Henk ten Have

Freedom of Speech

  • Nicholas Shackel
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05544-2_201-1


Freedom of speech is a fundamental right that can be defended on consequentialist and deontological grounds. Free speech in bioethics has been under threat for 50 years and is perhaps more vulnerable since the millennium due to the new rhetoric of intolerance and new laws suppressing speech. Nevertheless, it is evident that free speech is a necessity for the proper conduct of bioethics, especially given the ethical challenges that the global diffusion of biotechnology has brought and will continue to bring. That necessity can be defended on the very same grounds that the general liberty can be defended.


Freedom Liberty Right Duty Speech Expression Bioethics Global Consequences Autonomy Self-possession Self-assertion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical EthicsUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK