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Mapping the role of official bioethics advice in the governance of biotechnologies in the EU: The European Group on Ethics’ Opinion on commercial cord blood banking

By A Mohr, Helen Busby, T Hervey and R Dingwall


This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (\ud by-nc/3.0), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.In the early 1990s, the EU’s proposed bioeconomic agenda provoked ethical concerns among its\ud citizenry. In response to the political impasse between economic and ethical imperatives, as well\ud as the perceived lack of democratic legitimacy, the EU established an expert bioethics advisory\ud body, known as the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE). Situated\ud at the boundary between law, bioethics and economic policy, the EGE plays an ambiguous role in\ud the governance of biotechnologies in the EU. To elucidate the nature of its role and influence, this\ud paper considers the EGE as an integral element of a broader web of governance spanning EU and\ud Member State institutions. Using as a case study the emerging controversy surrounding commercial\ud cord blood banking, we explore whether the EGE and its ethical opinions on this matter have\ud contributed to the democratic legitimacy of the EU.Peer-reviewedPublisher Versio

Topics: bioethics
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1093/scipol
OAI identifier:

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