Professionalization

iStock_000009561938XSmall.jpgAs the field of bioethics and the role of bioethicist continues to evolve, there has been growing discussion regarding the question of whether and how bioethics as a vocation should be formally professionalized. Discussions taking place involve the potential establishment of practice standards, the adoption of codes of ethics, the identification of professional competencies, the credentialing of bioethicists, and the accreditation of bioethics education programs.

Foundational questions and debates also abound, including issues such as the normative grounding that provides legitimacy to the practice of bioethics and the work of bioethicists; whether professionalization can and should be restricted to those who practice clinical bioethics; and the nature of any conflicts that may arise when bioethicists have competing obligations to their profession and their employers.

While there are no uncontested answers to any of these issues, in efforts to advance dialogue and reflection on these in a way that is inclusive of a variety of perspectives, the Canadian Bioethics Society and its member affiliate or working groups have explored a number of these questions.

Information on related initiatives of the Canadian Bioethics Society or its member affiliate groups is available here:

Information on related initiatives of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities is available here: