In pursuit of goodness in bioethics: Analysis of an exemplary article
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Medical Ethics. 2018, 19 (60), 1-11. 10.1186/s12910-018-0299-9
Background What is good bioethics? Addressing this question is key for reinforcing and developing the field. In particular, a discussion of potential quality criteria can heighten awareness and contribute to the quality of bioethics publications. Accordingly, the objective of this article is threefold: first, we want to identify a set of criteria for quality in bioethics. Second, we want to illustrate the added value of a novel method: in-depth analysis of a single article with the aim of deriving quality criteria. The third and ultimate goal is to stimulate a broad and vivid debate on goodness in bioethics. Methods An initial literature search reveals a range of diverse quality criteria. In order to expand on the realm of such quality criteria, we perform an in-depth analysis of an article that is acclaimed for being exemplary. Results The analysis results in eleven specific quality criteria for good bioethics in three categories: argumentative, empirical, and dialectic. Although we do not claim that the identified criteria are universal or absolute, we argue that they are fruitful for fueling a continuous constitutive debate on what is “good bioethics.” Conclusion Identifying, debating, refining, and applying such criteria is an important part of defining and improving bioethics.